Monday, April 30, 2012

Fools rush in...

Just Visiting made mention of one of the biggest double-binds for Red Pill women in today's SMP.
That is, that she risks losing sight of her femininity in her quest to understand men (where 'understanding men' is in fact compatible with her femininity in the first place!).

The specific example JV gave was in a woman's communication style.
Here is the full comment:

"As a woman who has tried to bridge that gap by training myself to speak directly, I find a new problem. Men on these forums are complaining that modern women are too direct. That we aren't feminine enough with coy, circular conversation, and don't get them started on our flirting skills. So..on some subconscious level, men are looking for that "connection" part of our communication style. Speaking directly may be fine for work, but in social setting, renders us charmless to men. Apparently."

Hmm. Women run the risk of becoming too masculine by gaining too much insight into men and their quirks.
Do men become more feminine when they figure out women's behaviours?
Strangely enough,  a resounding NO!

I don't understand why this is. Anyone care to explain?

I think it is far easier to masculinise a woman than it is to feminise a man. Yes, femininity is much more fragile than masculinity. I don't know why this is so.
But it certainly explains why feminism was successful for so long.

Anyway, here is another double-bind.
A woman's position in the SMP is determined by the men who approach her.

Also sprach der Manosphere.

I have two responses to the above statement.
I shall give both.
The short one is borrowed from a certain John McEnroe.
You cannot be serious!


The longer version follows:

I get it. It is a widespread neg thrown at all or most women.
With this in mind I am not so upset :-)
So, emotions cast aside, I will calmly evaluate the pros and cons of Manosphere wisdom on this point.

The reason I know that The Manosphere kings are in fact aware that what they are saying is not accurate (and maybe even patently false) is that they themselves know that a man's biological imperative is to pursue any woman who might interest him, at least visually, if not in other ways.

Yes, social and other constraints will prevent him from hunting down anything that is female and moves :-) but the imperative is there. Indeed, these days, it is becoming a distinct feature in women too (what did I say above about being easier to masculinise women?)
It follows that the quality of men who will pursue any one woman will be fairly broad.
The more 'masculine' or 'alpha' or 'cocky' a man is, the greater his confidence. So he will pursue the woman of his choice irrespective of the status of the woman. The greater his pride, the more likely he will chase after a woman beyond his reach (whatever his own crietria of feminine 'status' may be).
But this is a good thing. The man who believes that a particular woman is too good for him is doing the equivalent of a DIY orchidectomy. This is undoubtedly painful in a physical sense, but even worse it strips him of his own (male) identity.

At the risk of entering a male locker room unintentionally, I shall express the sentiment that a man should do whatever makes him male. I cannot tell him what to do or how to do it, because I do not share his biology. The only possible conflict I foresee is when his needs clashes with someone else's sanctity. But I trust that every man knows when he reaches a boundary. Same as a woman knows when she reaches hers. Neither may comply with their consciences, but they know.

Masculinity (unlike femininity) is to go all out and 'get it' whatever 'it' means, no?
So, it follows that  a man will hit on any woman he wants. Whether he gets her is another matter. And in fact she may actually help him a little, by giving him subliminal IOI (indicators of interest) cues to follow because she may already have set her sights on him first, (because a woman can do this sort of thing extremely discreetly if she wants :-)

Some women report (correctly as far as the reporting goes) that they are often approached by men who are 'beneath' them.
I have three gut reactions to this.

1. Yes, sometimes the woman is totally wrong about her own level of attraction and status in the SMP. I can understand that this is true and tedious for a man who has to listen to her moan.

2. The rejection of these men is sometimes rather brutal. This is unnecessary at best and crass at worst on the part of a woman, agreed.

3. Most women do not and will never understand how hard it can be for a man to achieve his goal in finding a great woman for himself, as we do not have this particular natural drive within us. So we can be dismissive of men perhaps too easily. But is this a necessarily bad thing?
To answer that question, here's another:
Would a man want a woman who did not reject him when she should have because she was feeling sorry for him?
I don't think there is a man alive who would want that. I hope I am not wrong on this.

More and more women today are feeling the need to 'chase', but even then, it is 'optional'. The drive to chase after a new mate has never been a naturally female perogative.
Of course, a woman will chase after a man she is already familiar with, or is already attracted to. That's a different imperative - the need to maintain a connection, or 'bonding' akin to 'nurturing' of an infant, both mechanisms being driven by the same hormone (oxytocin).
Sadly, this second drive is being lost in favour of the former more masculine drive - hence what the Manosphere term 'hypergamy' which differs from what mine is.

Leaving aside all the 'special snowflakes' who really are clueless as to their own SMP value, I am prepared to wager that there is not a woman alive who has not had a 'pass' made at her by a man she knew would not make the cut with her.
There is even a phrase for that:
Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.

The kings of Game exploit this phrase remarkably well.
They will wait for the clumsy, inept guys to have their 5 minutes of fame with their intended female target, wait for him to disqualify himself and then move in for the kill :-)
They are waiting for the 'fool' to declare himself as such. And the woman helps them do it. When she rejects the fella.
That's what her 'b*tch shield' is for, afterall. If she doesn't get practice with the b*tch shield' she won't choose correctly when the time is right.
I agree the b*tch shield' does not have to turn b*tchy, though.

Preselection works both ways, no?
The most popular woman is the one that other men want. Or perhaps if there is such a group among men, that another woman (eg. his very own mother) has approved.

So it follows that this woman should have rejected most men before you lock eyes with her and she chooses you :-)

Having said all of the above, I however fully agree with Manosphere wisdom that the 'status' of a woman who finds herself with a man far above her worth is not really elevated at all, unless she gets him to the altar, and even so, that may still not be the case.

In short, a woman's value is never about the man she is with.

Moreover, it's not ladylike to declare that there are men chasing one that one does not want.
Things like this should be discreet, and not worn like some sort of  'badge of honour'.
This has unfortunately become a favourite sport among some women.
It is the proverbial stick they are beating men with.
Not cool.
It is crass.
Yes a woman has to reject a man she does not want.
But to do so kindly and with thoughtfulness for him re-instates his respect and general love for women, even if his ego takes a massive hit from the rejection.
No need to kick a man when he is down.

Because in fact it doesn't help a woman any if she is chased by a man she doesn't want. She is always going to reject him anyway, and that leaves her 'manless' for the moment. So why broadcast it?

A woman who broadcasts her brutal rejection of men to other men is a kind of 'marked woman'. Because of this whole brotherhood thing that men share.
The sentiment is this:
You treat my brother badly and I will punish you for that.

And they do.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

You are not man enough!

The above was said to a woman.
Yes that's right. To a woman.

And no, it wasn't meant to be some sort of backhanded compliment.
It was actually meant exactly in the spirit you would expect: as a reproach to a woman who was being judged as a man.
She wasn't aggressive or tough enough.
Not 'balsy' enough to survive in the tough business environment she found herself.

This was on the British version of 'The Apprentice' a few years ago.
The woman in question soon dropped out of the running.

I thought it was a tragedy.
How wrong I was!

In my post about the 'players' and 'officials' of the current SMP, I mention that the State or employer punishes the 'nice girl'.
In this sense, I guess I mean a woman who actually wants to be a woman.

She is at work because she has to be, or chooses to be.
No matter. She does not need to turn into a man to 'get ahead'.
But she is made to feel like she does.
And then when she does, she finds she does not like it.

The above has been said to me in some form or another throughout my own working life.
I have been sent on a 'leadership' course to get me to be 'stronger' on more than one occasion.
But I dug my heels in.
It did not suit my personality to be a 'leader'.
At least not the kind of leader I was being groomed to be.

I am glad I didn't take the bait.
Because I know I can lead when I need to. From the backseat, which is my preferred 'driving position'.

Many women fell into a trap laid out for them by feminism.
Unwitting victims in a cunning plan to rob them of something precious.

There are some women who are natural leaders.
These women are easy to spot. They are great to be around, because they are not working hard to be what they are not.
They are leaders in whatever environment they find themselves.
Some are 'high T' women. Some are surprisingly not.
But they are all women, nonetheless.

And then there are certain women who are some weird form of hybrid between what is normal for a man and what is definitely wrong for a woman.
These women went to 'Feminista school' and graduated with honours.

And now they are just plain scary to little children, even their own.

I see them coming and I have this overwhelming need to run the other way.
If I, as a woman can react to them like this, how much more a man?

It is not these women's fault. Like all of us, they have been tricked by an unseen force.
They were just at the forefront of the proverbial front.

The problem with this scenario is, the effect it had on some men.
Thankfully, this was a minority of men.
The unfortunate ones who were hit with a 'double-whammy'.

These are the men who overly self-identify with women. Because they may not have had a man around to take them by the hand through the walk of life.
These men who also saw how women around him were being masculinised and thought to themselves subconsciously, 'Well, I never! Something's missing. Don't know what it is, but I shall try to find it.'

Well, unfortunately, that something was femininity. The beautiful kind.
And these men went in search of it and lost themselves. Their masculine selves.
Not their fault. The same masculinisation of women robbed them of their fathers, so to speak.
Being good sports, they attempted to right a situation which was not up to them to right.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

These men ended up being deried by both men and women.
To women, they were 'freaks' of Nature. A feminised man. Hello LJBF.
To men, they were also 'freaks' of Nature. A mangina with no masculine soul. Hello lynching by the bollocks on Manosphere sites.

Unfortunate chain reaction.
With many victims.

Mr Lynch has woken up from his slumber. The one that brought him the nightmare of his life.
And now he is angry.
Unlike 'Sleeping Beauty' who was woken by a kiss from a prince, this man was woken by a slap from a masculinised angry woman.
And now he is chasing the same masculinised angry woman round a bed as described here.

Most of his peers successfully manouevred their way through the tricky SMP thing. He was left behind because he had his eyes on women at a time when he should have been watching other men.

There is  a reason I don't like horror films.
How can we stop the production of 'Screech 2'?

We have already listed a lot of the possible antidotes in previous posts.

To summarise them, I shall try to re-construct our list here.

1. Stop telling women to be 'more like a man', i.e. 'Kill your own snakes, never need a man.' This is going against Nature.
In particular, stop using the phrase 'strong and independent'. Most people don't know what this truly means!

2. Planned single motherhood as a 'lifestyle' really needs to go. Our society needs this like a fish needs a bicycle. You already know my thoughts on this.

3. The good Manosphere sites should be essential reading for both men and women. (We can decide amongst ourselves which ones are good for men, and which ones are good for women, hehe).
In this manner, I think men are showing true leadership. A man is really the best mentor for both men and women when it comes to the SMP. In addition, a good mother is essential for a woman too. Both men and women lose out in the absence of a good father-figure. Hence 2. is important.

4. The Angry men should go sort their heads out privately without hurting innocent young women as 'revenge' for the sins of their mothers/big sisters.
Otherwise, rinse and repeat in twenty years.

Does this cover it for now?

We can grow this list together in the comments section.
Or, any howlers above deemed unacceptable can be contested :-)

I know which one I would rather be.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Countrygirl or Citychick?

OK, so you all saw this coming...

It is only fair to extend this debate to the ladies :-)
When I asked if country men were more 'masculine' than city guys, I was more willing to listen to the opinions of ladies than men for obvious reasons.
Now it's the gentlemen's turn to sit back and do the appraising.
Ladies are still welcome to give their opinion, but I am going to give the men a higher priority here :-)

I think this post will be more difficult to write. Maybe because I am a woman myself and I therefore find it hard to be completely objective about women they way I know I can about men.
But I shall try my best.

And this time, the question is not 'who is more feminine' but 'what do you think of these two women'?
At the risk of displeasing women everywhere in my attempt to generalise, here goes:
*deep breath*

As I did for the men, assume both types of women described here are of the same level of attraction and a similar age, let's just say, mid twenties.
Both have at least a high school education and both are happy where they are in terms of locality.

Rural Maiden

This woman is likely to be traditional-minded in the sense that she wants to be married before long. She probably got baby-cravings since her mid-teens. Life would not make sense to her unless she is someone's daughter, wife and mother, in that order.
She may well have dated a few men, and would most likely have tried to get each and everyone of them to commit to her in the past.
She will feel a true failure if she is not only married but also a mother by age 30.
It is perhaps an untenable thought that she will be single forever like her 45-year old auntie who lives in the city.
She is perhaps more likely to be 'modest or a 'semi-modest', at least in dress and general behaviour, but not necessarily more 'moral'. Her small community dictates that whatever she does is under scrutiny whether she likes it or not.
However, more often than not, she likes the constraints put on her by her society.
Paradoxically she could also be amazingly free-spirited. She is more likely than her city counterpart to be free of a 'herd'. She may have one or two best friends, but that's it. She wouldn't be part of a thirty-strong coach-load of partying singles.
She doessn't have the time for that.
She may have a job that is practical and very much at the heart of the community she serves.
She is not folding her hands in her lap and doing nothing, that's for sure.
If she is not doing something that pays well, she is at least helping out, volunteering in something.
Because her community does not allow slackers.
The drawback to this woman is that she may be in danger of expecting "too much" of a man.
She may indeed bring lots to the table, but that means she also expects a lot.
She may or may not want a traditional man. The irony is that because she is traditional, she would be willing to go with the flow with the man she chooses, whether or not he is traditional-minded, like her.
But she may do best with someone exactly like her.
She is 'feminine'. Just as much as her brother 'Hillbilly' is intrinsically 'masculine', in some intangible, raw, 'natural' manner.
She doesn't know of any other way to be a woman.
At college, she was amused at how aggressive some of her classmates were.
She dismissed it as some sort of 'city' thing.
She wouldn't believe it if you explained to her that that is actually the reality of some women's lives.
Rural maiden has a lot of problems, but none of her problems include being a non-feminine woman.
She lives too close to Nature to deviate from her natural instincts.

Urban Lass

This woman who is city-born and bred is, like her male counterpart, slightly more complicated than Rural Maiden.
For a start she is more prone to be far removed from her family than Rural Maiden.
She may be living alone.
She may be a 'career gal' or not. But if she is, she is not necessarily a feminist.
She has to eat, right?
She has to live somewhere.
She may or may not be a rich Daddy's girl.

Urban Lass is exposed to more people in general than Rural Maiden. She may however be far removed from 'man-oasis' unlike Cityboy who is often surrounded by women.
Urban Lass is actually more likely than Rural Maiden to be surrounded by a herd of women, and despite being in the midst of many people, be severely short of 'suitable' men to pick from.
She is undoubtedly more 'busy' than Rural Maiden.
She has more work, more leisure activities and more pressures on her.
Such is urban life in general.
In addition, she may also create this illusion, intentionally or unintentionally, because 'the herd' creates a competitive streak in her.
Urban Lass is more likely to have been partnered up by a certain age than Rural Maiden, although not necessarily married before Rural Maiden.
Urban Lass has to be more savvy than Rural Maiden just to survive. In this sense, she is much more useful as a 'co-captain' for a marriage-minded man. However, this may count against her, because of the inevitable 'strong and independent' label she acquires unwittingly or otherwise. She may have many more 'life skills' than Rural Maiden, some of which may not be obvious to a man. She may be perfectly able to cook and clean but her decidedly 'party lifestyle' may give a different impression. Her budgeting skills may be hidden by the fact that she earns more than Rural Maiden.
Is Citygirl ever as feminine as Rural Maiden?
In my opinion, generally, yes. At least outwardly so. I am willing to bet perhaps even more so than Rural Maiden.
But there is something about city life that tampers with her a little.
Rural Maiden is not afflicted by this particular problem.

Urban Lass has many tools at her disposal to make her life truly exciting.
Those same tools can also ruin her life.
Like her brother Cityboy, she leads a complicated existence.

Who is more appealing to men?
Who is the better prospect for marriage in a man's eyes?
Who is likely to get married first?
Who is likely to stay married?

If you get the sense that these are all trick questions, you would be right :-)

But only in the sense that we all recognise that everyone is right. It is afterall, a question of preference.
If at all possible, please self-identify as city man/woman or rural man/woman when commenting so it would be possible to see what the trends are in terms of 'like begets like' and all that...

Again, I don't really know what I am talking about in this post. I have been both a citygirl and a rural maiden but at very different epoques in my life, so I am not a reliable 'control subject' for myself.

But I am fascinated by how much one's environment affects one's self-perception and that of others.
Enlighten me.
Pretty please.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Ode to the Military Man

The recent addition of Sergeant (?) Dogsquat to our little community here at The Sanctuary turned my thoughts to a frankly largely-forgotten aspect of my life.

This post is a virtual salute to military men (and women) everywhere, and in particular, those who form part of our little corner of The Gendersphere.

It suddenly struck me recently that there seems to be a disproportionate number of military personnel who comment here.
Perhaps it is just a function of the type of man who would be attracted to Red Pill/Manosphere ideas. Perhaps it is just coincidence.
I don't know.
In any case, I must say that it's very nice to have military men in our midst.
Makes The Sanctuary feel a whole lot safer ;-)
Turns out it's not just 'Pope Game' I am susceptible to.
Apparently I am a sucker for 'Military Game' too :-)

I would normally vehemently deny that I like a man in uniform...but alas, I have two pieces of evidence to the contrary.
Like many girls, I swooned at the movie 'An Officer and a gentleman' starring Richard Gere.

And in Pope Game I inadvertently let the cat out of the bag that I like the uniform of the Pontifical Swiss Guards.


On this blog somewhere, in response to someone's question, I once claimed to have zero connection to the military.
I forget the context in which the question was asked, but I suspect it was to the tune of 'do you come from a military family', hence my reply, because in fact, my (nuclear) family has no links with the military.
I had forgotten my 'links' to the military because it is not 'in my face' so much as before.

But I recall a relatively recent incident in which two male members of my entourage encountered each other. They were at some time in their lives both military men (army).

Their interaction was something to behold. All I love about manhood was dispalyed before my very eyes in a way I still find hard to put words to.
The mutual respect, shared tales of military life, the honour, the brotherhood...
It was almost a sacrilege on my part to be even witnessing it.

And all this reminds me of a six week period I spent in the US of A when I was in my early twenties. In my boldest and most harebrained moves to date, I enrolled in a special training programme with a Military Unit in Washington DC, as part of my professional training. I was assigned to the Navy team. The Army one was full, apparently.

Below may be an explanation as to why I have a special soft spot for the Navy, and non-military sailors too.
Danny, NC, Bill, Dogsquat, BeijaFlor, Popeye...

Due to the nature of our work, I had to share a room with the Navy team I refer to above. That means, me and 5 men in bunk beds in a tiny room for nights at a time.
My family were horrified to hear this, of course.
But they needn't have worried. As indeed, neither did I.

In typical immature fashion, I was amused at the 'horror' of my family (it was some sort of guilty pleasure of mine :-). But now I am more mature, I 'get' their concern. It was far from an ideal arrangement. However, it was crucial to our work not to be dispersed in various locations at all times even during the night, because we were required to be mobilised as one unit when duty called. And it often did several times per night. So in fact, sleeping was often the last thing anyone managed to do when we were all holed up like that in our room. Often we would be wide awake simply waiting for the next call.

These men were my biggest introduction to 'irreverence' if ever there was one! I never heard so many 'fart jokes' in my life.

But they were also very courteous towards me and very protective. They were mostly older than me. For sure more experienced than me professionally. I enrolled in their programme precisely because they are the best at what they do, worldwide.

I never got any inappropriate behaviour from them. Some were married, but most were not.
I followed them all day everywhere they went like an annoying little sister.
And yet they tolerated me well.
I was never made to feel bad. They were great men.
They actively took me everywhere with them. Even to the gym where they laughed at me for my physical inferiority to them (I was on the skinny side) whilst I drooled at their physiques.

It was a great time for me. Not only because it gave me a lot of insight into military life and men in general, but it was also simply fun. the time I returned home after six weeks, I was super-skilled in the aspect of my profession that I had gone there to improve.
What's more, I came away with this overwhelming sentiment that I had become part of some sort of new 'family'. I guess if you spend six weeks cooped up in a room with a group of people, you come away feeling some sort of connection to them.

Since that time, my paths with the military have not crossed so much.

Except to say that I now live in a country which is big on military service for its young men. Despite being known for its neutral stance on war. (Odd conundrum I know).

So, I often see young men out and about in their uniforms as they make their way to their training camp on a weekend.

And, at work, from time to time, a male colleague would disappear for a few weeks only to come back looking leaner, meaner and....
Is it me or is it suddenly hot in here?
Sorry. I shall keep this post classy from here onwards :-)

I notice that for all the 'sins' of Kate Middleton and Michelle Obama, what no-one would argue about is their commitment to the military. These women play this role very well.
I like that about them.

By the way, if you are a miitary woman, please identify yourself! I don't know any and I would love to change that.

I note however that Danny is not too keen on military women as LTR prospects.
Danny explains his reasoning well.
But I wonder - does this not apply to any woman with a job?
Are military women less feminine than other women?
If so, then the two World Wars where women were very much part of the action would have seen a drop in male-female interaction, no?
If so, then the compulsory military service for Israeli women is bad news for their LTR/marriage prospects, no?
Any job (outside the home) has the potential of masculinising a woman, no?

In Manhood United, Womanhood Unlimited, I touch on the topic of military service in the comments section.
Is military service a good thing? For men?
What about for women?
Given that the SMP is fraught with enough difficulties, women don't need another 'impediment', surely.

I said above that I did not know any military women. That is true, except it may not be strictly accurate.

I had a friend who was an intensive care nurse.
I remember her especially fondly for 2 reasons amongst many.

1. She was incredibly physically fit. A real fitness freak, she was. In a not-so-smart move, I would go long distance cycling with her. Even though she was 6 years older than me, she would always leave me trailing way behind her after yet another gruelling hill climb. Then at the top of the hill where she would be eating her energy snack as I approached her, too breathless to speak, she would look at me like I had two heads or something, and quip, 'What took you so long, slow coach?'

2. She was an excellent cook. And with her extroverted, gregarious personality, her dinner parties at which she was always the life and soul, were truly legendary. Years later, people still talk about them, as indeed I am now.
I lost touch with her for about 3 years. Next I knew, I got an email from a friend of hers in which he referred to her in the past tense.
I emailed back wondering about his choice of tense.
Then he told me.
Shortly after I lost touch with her, my friend joined the British Navy, and promptly got deployed to Iraq with the Medical Corps.
(She had never told me she was harbouring thoughts of joining the military).
Within a year of her return, she felt a bit 'under the weather'. She had a routine blood test.
Thinking she was just getting unfit, she trained harder at the gym.
It was during one such session at the gym (perhaps fittingly so for her) that her doctor called her on her mobile phone to say she should go to hospital for a check up - he wanted the hospital to redo her blood test.
She packed an overnight bag and went to hospital that night.
She never came out alive.
Exactly 5 months later, she was dead. In the same intensive care unit she had previously worked in. Of a particularly aggressive and rare form of leukaemia.

I never got a chance to meet her Navy self. Except to see a picture of her in her Navy uniform in her obituary.
I never got a chance to say goodbye.
I imagine that in her generosity, her only remark as to why I did not find out about her death earlier than I did, would be 'What took you so long, slow coach?'
I am fully expecting this question when I turn up, breathless and tired, at the Pearly Gates.

I am pretty sure her leukaemia was linked to her time in Iraq.
But no-one can prove that in her specific case, despite the body of evidence that 'Gulf war syndrome' includes a risk of cancer. And in fact, I don't know if she had any of the other symptoms of GWS prior to her death.

Although I am not a fan of war per se, it is not surprising to me that the first three of my 'Film Reviews' were based on films that depict military life/war.

Coincidence? Or Freudian association?

Is it me or is it hot in here all of a sudden?

I may have 'been' in the US Navy for six weeks, but I was never made to do this. For which I am eternally grateful.

We Brits like our 'Pomp and Circumstance'.
But alas, in an act of High Treason, it is not the music of Edward Elgar of 'Pomp and Circumstance march' fame that I present to you here.

For my military music of choice, I have left the British Isles behind.
I have chosen for you instead, Franz Schubert's 'Marche Militaire'.

Addendum 23rd April 2012:
Um...gulp... OK, so I am feeling a little uneasy here. The Tower of London/The London Dungeons are concrete testament to the fact that those who commit 'high treason' don't do well. As in, never live to tell their tale.
I do like my head connected to the rest of my body.. as opposed to...

So in a fit of cowardly consternation, I hotfoot it right back to the British Isles :-)

Here is Edward Elgar's 'Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1, which is arguably the most famous one of the five, not least because it contains the famous 'Land of Hope and Glory' anthem.

'Last night of the Proms', the last in a series of concerts in late summer at The Royal Albert Hall in London (with live feed by satellite at Hyde Park) is never complete without a rendition of this piece. In fact it is always the highlight, with Brits everywhere going absolutely wild with frenzy, with fireworks and the whole shebang :-)

My own personal favourite however, is no. 4:

I salute you, you men and women of valour and honour.

Friday, April 20, 2012

The Madonna-Whore conundrum

With Bellita leaving The Gendersphere, no-one will feel her absence more than me.
She was the one to hand me 'The Crazy Pill' that saw me start up this blog, a crazy pill that I subsequently handed to BeijaFlor by his own account :-)

As Bellita and I both note, we had a certain synergy going.
When she leaves, where am I going to get my ideas from?

I am grabbing as much as possible while she is still with us in the Gendersphere.
My latest poach from our dear Bellita actually comes from someone else who commented on her blog.

Bill writes, in response to Bellita'a post The face of Mercy:

"My best friend reminded me the other day that much of classical English literature portrays women as either the Madonna or the Whore. Neither model is wholly accurate and few women fit neatly into one category or the other.
Yet much of the thesis of Gender Feminism is that Woman’s natural state is the Madonna: virtuous and noble.
Much of the Manosphere categories women as the antithesis of the Madonna: the Whore. They see all women as venal and self-centered.
The more accurate model of reality probably lies in the synthesis of the two. A few women are outliers on either extreme. Most are a mix of the two.
The problem with that is how to develop rules for men to follow in such a complex world. In the United States, the legal system has been so permeated by two dogmas:
1. “All women are inherently vituous, until proven otherwise”, and
2. “All men are selfish, irresponsible and stupid.”
That combination has made marriage a fool’s errand for men.
We men want virtuous women whom we can turn to for mercy. Unfortunately, the gender feminism message coming from American society is, “Ladies, you are virtuous by nature. Your wants, no matter how base and selfish by patriarchal standards, are naturally pure and wholesome. You Go, Girl!”
As that mindset becomes more widespread and more deeply ingrained in all aspects of Western society, the “treat all women like whores” model looks better to men."

I always sit up when I hear a man express a deeply-felt sentiment such as this.

For two reasons:
1. I am inherently primed to be 'grateful' when a man 'talks'. That in itself is a kind of 'treat'.

2. It is a chance to reflect on a shared experience of sorts.
It is a great opportunity to sink or swim.
That is, swim with a man or sink with him to the bottom of the sea, figuratively speaking.

Or at least flail my arms wildly in his vicinity hoping he will rescue me from my impending drowning :-)

So, does Bill have a point?
My overwhelming response would be, 'Oh yes Sir, most definitely!'

On a related note, Bellita herself also brought in (on a post on this blog) the related concept of the perception of women as Maiden, Mother or Crone.
Which, to my simple mind is the depiction of the three main stages of a woman's life, (in the same way that we might intuit that the three stages of a man's life are something of the order of 'Page boy, Prince or King') and there is room to suppose therefore that the Madonna-Whore spectrum still applies to each of these stages to relative degrees.

I guess this post should really have been titled 'Film Review: Maria di Nazaret'.
Because Bill's comment took me back to this Italian film which I recently watched over Easter depicting the life of Our Lady.
It is of course a play on the more famous 'Jesus of Nazareth' exploring the life of Jesus.

I am not sure it is available in English. But if I may digress, of course there are many biblical films like this one in English which are shown around Christmas time and Easter. Pre 'Maria di Nazaret', my favourite one was 'King of Kings' for the sole reason that the 'Mary' in that one is so unbelievably beautiful. (With my Manosphere goggles on, easily a 10 :-) The casting team certainly did their job very well in that one.

And then of course there is the film by Mel Gibson that caused all sorts of controversy, not least because worldwide, no fewer than 6 people died from heart attacks watching it.
The film, 'The Passion of the Christ' was so raw in its depiction of Christ's suffering that I can see how it can draw out emotion in its audience.

More on 'Maria di Nazaret' later.

But first, my own thoughts on the whole Madonna-Whore thing.

For the life of me I don't know how this happened, but I shall hazard a guess or two as to how and why the opposite ends of the spectrum of female chastity became so entrenched in one another as to be deemed almost (and absurdly) interchangeable.
I do agree with Bill in that no woman is exclusively one and not the other.
Everything in life is a spectrum.

But I can tell you, as a former convent girl, I have had my fair share of this confusion.
A confusion which is definitely not helped by the antics of another former convent girl, aptly named 'Madonna' but given her public behaviour, is anything but.
A confusion not helped by recent reports of a certain Prime Minister with a penchant for under-age prostitutes and 'bunga bunga' parties where female participants are dressed as nuns.

By the way, on the subject of Madonna the singer, I realise that 'Madonna' was in fact her real name, and not a stage name. It was her mother's name - a mother she lost quite early on in life.
(I have a lot of sympathy for this reason).
But...and there is always a but.

I have always wondered what the deal is with Madonna.
In fact I could easily write a whole post just on her - for she seems to singlehandedly embody the whole Madonna-whore debate.
I don't understand the whole thing with her seemingly obsessive 'imitation' of Our Lady - with titles of her songs/albums such as 'Like a virgin', 'The Immaculate Collection', 'Like a prayer' and so forth, all the while churning out gratuitously graphic material which are so explicit as to elicit a ban from The Vatican, a step which is fairly unusual by The Church.
And then she names her daughter 'Lourdes'...

I don't get it...
But then again, maybe I am not supposed to.
They do say that imitation is the highest form of flattery.
But this is the most unusual form of flattery I have ever come across.
All I want to know is, is Madonna confused or sinister?
Yes we all know that sex sells. But does one have to go so far to earn a bob?

Let's just say that there have been depressingly woeful moments in my life where associating myself with a convent school was not the smart option.
Because of this confusion.

Let's just say I am on intimate terms with the whole Madonna-Whore debate.
As are, I guess, most women.

I have said before that there are some locker rooms I will not enter. This is one of them. But I shall hover on the threshold of this one long enough to say that it may be not so much a locker room as an enclave of the great unwashed.

It does not escape my notice that the whole association between the Madonna and the whore may have come about as a result of what I would call 'faulty womanhood'.

No man could have come out with that fantasy unless somewhere somehow a woman created it.
I am joining up some murky dots here, I know.
The same murky dots can be found in the association of children and said fantasy.
Think the pop industry.
Think Britney Spears and her school uniform outfit in 'Baby one more time'.
And of course, that's not the very worst of the pile.
But in the interests of keeping The Sanctuary relatively clean...

We reap what we sow.
With that I make my hasty retreat from the locker room door.

I am however not totally humourless when it comes to this issue.
I can see (very much so!) that there is a funny element to the Madonna-Whore complex.
The film industry has exploited this to good effect.
If anyone has seen Robbie Coltrane and Eric Idle in 'Nuns on the run' or Whoopi Goldberg in 'Sister Act' you will know what I am talking about. Sister Act is particularly funny. You haven't lived if you haven't seen this film (and its sequel) or the musical :-)

Of course there are more traditional films based on nuns, such as 'The Nun's story' and 'The Sound of Music' too. But these are relatively mild compared to what we are talking about here.

Back to 'Maria di Nazaret', one thing bothers me about his film. I may be nit-picking here, but it happens to tie in perfectly with the whole Madonna-Whore thing, so I shall pick away...

In most depictions of the life of Jesus, eg. in the films mentioned above, Mary Magdalene, a woman of let's just say, less than desirable repute until she is forgiven by Jesus, is a woman who becomes a friend of Mary's, in the sense that Mary takes her under her wing and they become involved in a sort of mother-daughter relationship.
At least that's my interpretation of things.
I find it ridiculous of course when it is suggested by the anti-Christian crowd that Mary Magdalene becomes a 'girlfriend' of Jesus.
I think it is more likely she becomes a sister of Jesus due to the arrangement she has with his mother.

Anyhow, the unusual feature of this film is that Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Jesus are depicted as childhood friends whose lives take on different paths and who remain friends despite the Grand Canyon of a gulf that separates them as their destinies diverge at a given point in their young lives.

The ultimate in the Madonna-Whore divide.

Somehow, I find this angle a little distasteful.
I am not sure why the idea that the mother of Our Lord was best friends with Mary Magdalene before  and during the time she was a prostitute bothers me so much and not so much the idea that they were friends after she was 'made clean' again.
Is this my 'prude within' coming up for air?

I dunno.

But it does leave a bitter taste in my mouth somewhat.
It smacks of a 'Charlotte-Samantha' friendship ala 'Sex and the city' and I don't like it.

I am neither Madonna nor whore.
Like all women, I am somewhere in between.

But it won't ever sit well with me to see the ultimate Madonna depicted as BFF with the ultimate whore at the peak of her whoredom.

That's just not right.

Excuse the Italian in the following videos. Like I said above, this film was an Italian production and I can't find a version with English subtitles.
Any requests for a translation should be directed towards Danny, our resident Italophone :-)

This scene resembles 'The Passion of the Christ' in its brutality. Please avoid if you have a tendency to heart trouble.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

What's in the bag?

Or, to Game apologists, 'little girl Game'.

I am indeed an Auntie. Several times over. Biologically speaking. And also to children I am not actually strictly-speaking related to.
But I have never managed to master niece or nephew Game.
Here's a cautionary tale as to why this has to change.

I was at Mass the other day. Minding my own business.
Then all of a sudden this kid appears before me from nowhere and grabs my bag.

She couldn't have been more than 4. Tops 5. Although she appeared quite big for her age. I had seen her several times before at Mass with her mother.
She was of the hyperactive variety to put it mildly.
But far from being annoying, she was cute and adorable.
However, I wonder if the priest ever saw it this way?
I mean, when there is a 4-year old standing in front of the altar blowing raspberries at you at the moment of The Consecration, 'cute and adorable' may not be the adjectives you would pick to describe her.

This child's mother was more of the passive type.
She was either too tired or had just resigned herself to accept that her kid was never going to sit still at any social function :-)

So the kid, who is now in possession of my handbag now asks me to give her my necklace.

Remember, I have no idea how to game a 4-year old girl. And frankly, these are unchartered waters for me. Can't recall ever being in this situation before. Being in a near-hostage situation at Mass had never before been one of my life experiences so far. Perhaps I was long overdue for this one :-)

In any case, I am hopeless at asserting myself to anyone under three foot tall.
In other words, they game me.

In a surreal reality which feels desperately akin to being held up at gunpoint at a gas station, I hand over my necklace and rationalise that at least I am contributing to a little girl's developing femininity :-)
I note wistfully that my necklace really suits her. Arguably more than it does me!
I tell her this.
The cheeky little bugger actually agrees :-)
Mother is still nowhere to be found.

The girl declares that she really likes my necklace.
I am genuinely pleased about that.
Um, is this a clear case of Stockholm syndrome?
I am already thinking she may keep the necklace if she keeps up this flattery :-)

People sitting nearby have begun to notice my plight and are starting to laugh.
The little girl is now saying she likes me. Quite loudly.
She tells me she likes my handbag.
I am flattered once again.
She opens it and starts peering inside.

That's when I start to panic.

You see, in every lady's handbag, there are certain items of a personal nature. All you ladies know what I mean. I dare say some of you gentlemen too.

That 'just in case' item of feminine hygiene which is definitely not for public viewing by all and sundry...

I made a move to grab the bag from the kid, but she moved away chuckling to herself as she removed item after item, and my heart started to do somersaults in anticipation of major embarrassment.
Mum is still not showing up.

The part of the congregation closest to me have now turned their full attention to me and this kid, and are now not bothering to join in the prayerful chants anymore...
This kid was proving to be better entertainment than 'The Gloria' or the 'Nicene Creed'.
That was not my assessment of the scenario. But then again, I was very much a part of said 'entertainment' by this stage, so I guess my opinion on this matter was now officially null and void.

She finds my wallet and phone. She doesn't find these interesting in the least.
Just my luck.

I try to make funny faces at her to distract her from my handbag. But somehow it doesn't work.
She ain't interested.
At least not in my face.
She promptly turns her attention back to my bag while I start to feel faint and jittery.
Any minute now...

When she finds her item of choice, she holds it up for all to see and asks me 'what is this'? again quite loudly ... before my stupefied self wakes up and grabs it from her before I have to indulge in a lecture on the 'birds and the bees' in the middle of Mass no less (!) to a 4 year old who is just way too curious for my liking :-)

By this time, everyone is falling about laughing and the priest is starting to look our way. This child managed to provide Mass entertainment (pardon the pun!) at a time I least expected or desired.
Luckily, I notice that the nearest people to me were women, so my embarrassment was mitigated somewhat.

The kid got bored after that and went off to harrass the priest, wearing my (now empty) handbag and necklace and jiggling my house keys noisily as she ran up the central aisle. (I had no idea where my wallet or phone were at this point).

I see the priest's visibly forlorn expression of heartsink as little Bopeep approaches him...I can see he's 'been here' before. Several times. With this one kid.
But I am not about to sympathise.
Rather him than me, I think to myself uncharitably :-)
(Yes, yes, mea culpa and all that :-)
It's definitely every man for himself at Mass sometimes.

Mum eventually showed up with little girl in tow to hand me back my handbag and keys after Mass. But little girl did not want to hand back the necklace. Mum tried everything to no avail.

To put Mum out of her misery, I bent down to little girl and said, 'it's my belated Easter present to you'.
The smile I got was worth all the embarrassment I had just suffered at her hands.

She repeated 'I like you' and skipped off happily with Mum.
Somehow I get the feeling that's not the last I've seen of these two.

My options now include:
1. Get a child-proof lock on my handbag.
2. Give up wearing necklaces to Mass.
3. Work on my 'niece Game'.
4. Resume attendance at leadership course so I can stand up to the little people.
5. Try out a few disguises.
6. Pay 'protection money' to the local kindergarten gangs.
7. Find a new church.
8. Find a new religion.

That kid has her 'girl game' going on alright :-)
And she picked the right 'victim' in me, because I am still at the stage of life where I think other people's kids are 'cute'.

If I am honest I would say that I was somewhat pleased to have been taken to task in this way by this kid.

For a start, I was a bit taken aback by her brazen approach and ease of relating to a relative stranger. I was initially somewhat alarmed to see a child with this stark lack of 'stranger danger'. But then again, she may have already been through that stage. (I am not an expert on child development, but perhaps the 'stranger danger' thing happens at age 2-3 perhaps? Parents, please enlighten me :-)
And, thinking about it, perhaps I actually wasn't a stranger to the child afterall. I mentioned I had seen her several times at Mass before. Perhaps she was used to seeing me around too.

I do believe in conspiracy theories. It would make sense to suppose that I was a 'marked woman'. That she had 'premediated' her swoop on me and my belongings.
Because otherwise, it would seem far too fanciful that I was just randomly pounced upon by a 4 year old semi-terrorist. In a Catholic church, no less.
Is nowhere sacred anymore, I ask you?

Secondly, it amazed me how casually she related to me, stranger or not.
This may not be apparent to the English speakers amongst us, but many European languages make a distinction between an informal 'you' and a polite, formal 'You'.
French is no exception.
Children address their parents in the informal way. But any adult stranger is 'You'.
(In a way that amuses me immensely, I note that in french Our Lady is addressed as 'You' and God as 'you'!!! - does God take offence at this, I wonder? :-)

This kid addressed me in the informal way. Which actually had the effect of making me relax when relating to her. But I could not help but notice the disapproving gasps from our audience - sticklers for standing on ceremony, they were :-)
Or maybe at age 4, this child was too young to know the difference?
(Somehow I think not - at age 4, I too was french-speaking. And I knew the difference already. As I note other (french-speaking) kids today also do).

Being quite tall, I always felt that somehow, kids would (or should!) be wary of me. When I was a child, I was less scared of shorter strangers than the tall.
But no... I find the opposite. Kids always relate to me like I am their age :-)
This appeals to my own inner child, because I do love to retreat into the world of childhood every now and again.
But I also worry that this perception of me by kids in general means that if I become a parent, I won't be taken seriously by my own children either :-(
I would just be another playmate to them.
That can't be good, right?

On a related note, I note that the Mansophere mindset is that women are just (mostly) overgrown children anyway.
This view is also held by many a Catholic saint of old (inclding St. Augustine?) and certainly many ancient philosophers like Schopenhauer.
On the one hand I detect a 'neg'. And my 'inner woman' is outraged of course.
On the other, if I force myself to indulge in my habitual game of 'see it another way', I take it as a compliment:
Was it not our Lord himself who said  "Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven."

(And I can see male eyes rolling with contempt in response to this particular hamster spin :-)

Thirdly, although I initially found it surprising, I was pleased that Mum was relaxed enough to leave her child and me to interact. Or, perhaps in the manner of my reaction when the child left me in search of the priest, she was just grateful for someone else to take on their share of the proverbial 'pain' :-)
I am sure (I hope!) she was at least following her daughter with her eyes, and knew where she was at all times. I couldn't see her (I had no idea which corner of the church the kid had popped out from) but I hope she could see me.
I am not sure I would have her confidence that any stranger, male or female, was 'safe' enough to leave my child with, even for 5 minutes, even in the middle of  a crowded church.
But maybe I shall feel differently when I am in her shoes. And with a child like hers who is clearly never going to be a wallflower :-)

The encounter with the kid also got me thinking about relationships in general.
I was fine with her taking off with my bag for almost an hour.
Seriously, I didn't care.

My only issue was, 'Oh My God, what will she do with the contents of my bag that should not be made public viewing?'

I touched on privacy and intimacy in the post 'In to me see'.
Things are great with people we meet, like, interact with, relate to, until we remember there may be something 'in the bag' we wouldn't like them to see.
Then we try to get the bag away from them.

We all have some sort of baggage, some light, others heavy.
Not all of our baggage can be declared at 'Customs'. Some are for our own eyes only.
The trick is to know what, how, when and who to share our 'undeclarables' with.

How to negotiate this delicate exercise without hurting the feelings of the other person?
Admittedly, they are not 4 years old.

But inside every adult is a 4 year old, no?
With a propensity to be hurt in a way that might not be obvious to us.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Initiation and the woman in green

In the post about MGTOW, it was brought to my attention that I had got the whole 'initiation' thing wrong. This neither surprises nor perturbs me.
It just informs me that my curiosity on the subject is as yet unsated.
So, here I am turning up for 'Initiation - Round 2'. I really, really want to understand this well.

It is correct that I know next to little about initiation. I am afterall, a woman. Bellita stated a while back that some women do go into their own 'initiation'. I kind of 'get' that. It is possible that I myself have experienced this initiation or seen it in other women, but maybe I have a different name for it.

But that aside, the only other 'initiation' I am familiar with is of the monthly variety where no matter how reasonable and sane a woman might be usually, all bets are off for a few crazy days on a lunar basis :-)
OK, I exaggerate a bit for effect, but there is some truth to this.

I shan't get into why the word 'lunatic' irks me somewhat, but in related info, BeijaFlor does a brilliant job of analysing the etymology of the word hysteria.

Much of what I know about male initiation is what I gleaned from the man who wrote the following (bold annotations are mine):

"As a result of initiation, a man starts his life in the village as a boy, and he returns to the village as a man. His journey has changed who he is and what he does. A man's journey starts in community and ends in community. Yet all his relationships are changed. This new man is given a new name by his elders. His community recognizes him by a new name because he is a new person to them.

The initiated man returns with a boon, often described by his name. This boon is his newfound identity and the talents and vision he finds in his ordeal. The boon is for the renewal of the community, which can atrophy in patriarchal rigidity. His gift, as well as giving his life meaning, is also meant to transform his community. Indigenous societies waited excitedly for the new man and his boon.
If a community is not open to his gift, as happens in an elderless, modern society, his message can bring estrangement, ridicule, even danger and death. 

So, this is what is happening in the current SMP? This is why some men are not coming back (again)?
Because they came back once and all they got was 'this lousy tee-shirt' and so they left again, saying: Veni vidi verti (I came, I saw, I turned around and kept it moving)?

He continues:

For instance, modern societies do not particularly want mature men. Mature men are not blindly obedient.
 Society: True alphas are a threat to society. Let's shame these alphas and keep the betas toiling.
(And then the betas are not rewarded for their good behaviour by this same society).

Am I getting it right so far? Or am I missing something crucial?

It gets better:

Yet a man who has been to the other side has a certain peace that is untouched by fear of death or its counterparts, scorn and debasement. This is because he has already faced death and found deep, inner values unshaped by popular opinion.

The mark of an initiated man is a deep peace that could be described as otherworldly. This is the peace that the Bible says passes understanding. This is Yoda's 'calm.' There is a detachment that seems like despair. Actually, it is a detachment that comes from a vision that the community does not yet understand, especially a modern community."

I think I saw this in Mark Wahlberg. And I was shaken to the core by it, in a good way. It was scary but familiar.

It starts to get a little fuzzy for me here:

A mature man seems to know that a higher power, at least a higher wisdom, exists because he has experienced it. Through initiation he has learned more and more of the topography of his inner life, the terrain of the Self, the wilderness within. This is the place of the soul. He has found that soul yearns for otherworldly answers, as a boy yearns for manhood.
Indigenous people saw the wilderness as the place where their higher power, their Spirit, dwelled. Initiation not only introduced a boy to his soul, the message from his elders was that his soul was intimately connected to Spirit. Elders experienced Spirit, assumed Spirit, taught about Spirit. Part of the initiatory experience was the explanation of how their people existed through the action of Spirit. Elders always taught this spiritual context, the myth of their people. In the elder's eyes, their people were continually upheld by Spirit, as each man's life and life direction would be connected to Spirit through initiation.
I believe that a modern man going through this ordeal of transformation takes a psychospiritual journey that finds both the potential of soul identity and the existence of something sacred beyond the ego's ability to understand. This something is sacred because it has the effect of bestowing a goodness to a man's life.
It is up to every man to go on this journey alone, to find out for himself. Then he can define Spirit for himself. As a psychologist, I can talk of the steps that a man has to take to painstakingly get himself ready for the wilderness. As an elder, I can tell a man he is meant for the wilderness. As a counselor, I have observed that most every man who has struggled with ordeal has emerged with a spiritual sense. As a man, I can attest to the Spirit that dwells there.
This Spirit is not the Spirit that is automatically in a church or in a religion, though this power can also be there. This is a bigger, more powerful, more mysterious Spirit who cannot be contained by one church or one religion. This is a Spirit of paradox. This is a Spirit who seemingly doesn't go by his own rules. This is the Spirit who teaches the mystery of tranformative pain. This is a Spirit of the wilderness, without and within. This is a Spirit only accessed from deep inside every man, from his own soul. This is the Elder of the elder.
OK, I won't try to understand this bit too much.

But I can identify with this part:

The journey of manhood is a psychospiritual one that demands modern man's attention. Society's and the world's survival depends on men consciously taking up this mission toward inner wisdom and purpose. Men who do not take the journey are dangerous men...
A man, though alone, never makes the journey just for himself. Though he may not realize this while in the midst of loss or ordeal, many will need the wisdom and active courage that he finds on the other side. Many will be lost, with less of a chance for healing, because he did not risk. A man's initiation is not a luxury for himself, like the holodeck of the Enterprise, with little consequence when the game is over. People are waiting for his presence though they don't know it. Many are counting on him though they've never met him...

Initiated men and women are the last real hope that we can save the earth and the dignity of every being on her. I believe we are in the middle of a tragedy for earth and its people. And this is a tragedy of our own making. In this case, it is not only men and women and children who are being wounded, even destroyed in their spirit. The earth itself is being grievously wounded.

Is he talking about...gulp...Red Pill men and women here?
I personally feel that the village has failed the initiated man if he does NOT feel the need to return.
But that's just me.

This is where I REALLY get lost:

"Out of nowhere, in place of where the tree had stood, appeared a tall woman dressed in black from head to foot....Never before had I felt so much love... There are no words to paint what it felt like to be in the hands of the green lady in the black veil." - Malidoma Some, Of Water And The Spirit.
Initiation brings a man to a different view of all his emotional and spiritual connections, especially to his relationships with women and the feminine...
Malidoma experienced Spirit as woman in his initiation. His elders expected this epiphany. They knew because they had found her before him. This is why they laughed at him when he made up a tree story about seeing an antelope on its hind legs. He was so embarrassed at being behind the other initiates that he made up a story after fruitlessly sitting in front of the yila tree for three days. The other initiates had all seen long ago. Many elders felt because he was raised by white men, so contaminated by our Western cultural values and even literacy, that he had lost the power "to see through the veil". One of the first things Malidoma saw when his vision pierced the veil was the loving green woman.

Who exactly is this green woman who replaces a tree?
Has any man seen her?

Could this be the Face of Mercy Bellita talks about?
Why is she in green?
Is she representative of Mother Earth?

Is the point of masculine initiation an attempt to connect with the feminine, in the truest purest sense or to get as far away from it as fast as possible with the result that the feminine comes seeking the initiate in an unsolicted manner?

On a related note, I notice that some men who would fit the description of 'mature' are known for acquiring inanimate objects later in life that are promptly 'femininsed'.
By this I mean the typical 'mid-life crisis' man who acquires a boat/yacht/fast car/luxury property and lovingly describes it as 'she's a beauty'.
Is this a symbolism of sorts or just a quirk of language?


Saturday, April 14, 2012

Captain of her own soul?

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

This poem by William Henley is Nelson Mandela's favourite. It is said to have been the inspirational words that kept him going whilst he was incarcerated on Robben Island prison off the coast of Cape Town for 27 years.

It is entitled 'Invictus', which is also the name of the film by Clint Eastwood on Nelson Mandela's involvement in the Rugby World Cup win by a united South Africa in 1995.

Captain of my soul.

A man who has his ducks lined up is noticeable by everyone around him.
He really seems to be the captain of his own soul.

I attempted to describe this phenomenon in this post. It seems to be the essence of (complete) manhood.

But... of course there must be a female equivalent of this.

But what I am trying to work out is, is this woman the same as this man, i.e. captain of her soul, mistress of her fate...

Or is she in fact, the opposite?
Because whilst the captain of his soul is quintessentially masculine, his female counterpart has to be feminine, no?

Can a woman be concurrently feminine and be 'captain of her soul'?

It is not a trick question.

Masculinity is all about mastering what is controllable. A task that has a beginning a middle and an end. Beyond that, he is not interested.
I am not saying that controllable equals easy. Far from it.

But controllable is defined by logical laws.
For example, if you study hard, you will usually get good grades. There is the odd chance that on the day of your test, you will skid on a banana skin and end up in hospital with a broken coccyx and miss the exam altogether, but this would be unusual and unlucky.

Femininity is all about what is uncertain and undefinable. Attempting to reach what is not controllable.

In many ways, a woman is more at the mercy of fate than a man.
It is arguably easier to pass a test or hold down a job than to navigate certain tasks of womanhood.

In relationship land, and I am referring here to the wider realm of interhuman relationships, not just romantic ones, there are two distinct ways of keeping people who lock horns frequently from killing each other.
There is 'peace keeping' and there is 'creating harmony'.
In most families, especially large families, the job of 'keeping the peace' usually falls to a man. According to what I have observed (and someone please correct me if I am wrong) it is kind of like a 'policeman' or 'referee' type role. This intervention is usually short, sharp and to the point. The terms of negotiation and or reconciliation are usually laid unceremoniously on a table. The warring parties can either take it or leave it.
 The task of 'creating harmony' is arguably more draining. This task usually falls to a woman. She may not be the most 'senior' woman in the household. In fact, the Matriarch could well be one of the warring parties. Harmony Hannah could be a daughter, daughter-in-law, sister...any woman.

This woman will not be content with laying out abstract terms on a proverbial table. She will go backwards and forwards several times between the parties, individually and together, delving into the depths of their feelings and emotions. She will leave no stone unturned.

These are generalisations, of course, but it describes fairly accurately, the modus operandi of both sexes.

This is why I think 'outcome independence' is much harder for a woman than it is for a man (although it is very useful if a woman can master this somehow).

Peter Peacekeeper will consider it 'mission accomplished' if he can get two warring parties together in one room and lay out his plan for reconciliation for both of them. I think he will really see it as 'job done.' He can walk away with his head held high. He has done the controllable part. Now it's time for a drink.

Hannah Harmony's work is not yet finished, at least not in her eyes. Until the two parties are hugging each other, calling each other by terms of endearment and going on each other's Christmas card lists, she ain't finished.
'Outcome independence' does not come easy to women.
But perhaps there is a good reason for this which Nature should be given credit for?

Can a woman really be 'captain of her own soul' given that she seeks to 'control' that which is often uncontrollable?

I have noticed that you can only really have control if you let go of control. Yet another paradox.
Maybe the 'kings of cool' are only so 'in control' because they let go years ago.

And the rest of us still clinging desperately to every little bit of control we can muster in our lives are looking at them and wondering, 'How does he do that?'

So, can a woman 'let go' like men can do?
Won't that make us all...well, men?

Should a woman even seek to be captain of her own soul?
What will happen if she does?
Will that take something away from her femininity?

I think whoever came up with 'Man proposes, God disposes' had women in mind. It is especially true of a woman's life.
Women are usually the ones who have to uproot themselves to follow a man's dream.
Yes, this dynamic is often reversed in our modern world, but does this usually end happily? I would venture a short answer: no.

A man can really plan his life to the finest detail. It is technically possible. A woman who remains 'feminine' usually cannot.
Beyond marriage, a woman's life is 'not her own' once she has children. Sometimes quite literally. More so than for a man, who could walk away, and some do.
Yes, there are some women who do walk away from their (small) children too, but I think we would all agree that this is in the minority, albeit seemingly rising in number.

When I said 'quite literally' above, I had a specific case in mind.
I was thinking of St. Gianna Molla. She is a modern era saint. Born in 1922, she became a paediatrician in 1949. I would probably guess there weren't too many of her colleagues that were female in Italy in 1949. Married to an engineer, she was pregnant with her fourth child when gynaecological complications arose necessitating a choice between an abortion, hysterectomy or an attempt to solve the gynaecological problem with high risk to both mother and baby.
She chose the latter. Even though her faith would not have precluded a hysterectomy even if an unintended consequence of that would have been the automatic death of her baby.
St. Gianna Molla had the baby - a girl, also called Gianna - but died a week later. She is thus the patron saint of mothers, physicians and the unborn.

2 questions: I know what the Catholic church thinks of her actions - she was afterall canonised in 2004 - and The Church will not canonise just anybody. She was canonised because she gave her life for another that was dependent on her. Gianna Jr. also  became a doctor by the way :-)
Is this a case of 'no-one will sweeten the bitter pill for me'? A hysterectomy would have been 'acceptable' in the eyes of The Church. But Gianna Sr. was having none of it. Save the baby at all cost.
Or is this a case of child before husband - which is a recipe for disaster in its own right? Did St. Gianna Molla put her unborn child before her husband and all the rest of her children because that last child literally depended on her for its life - whereas husband and older kids did not have this dire dependency on her - and is this what The Church admires about her?

'Letting go' in this way and submitting to fate can sometimes make a woman very vulnerable. If she 'chooses wrong' she can end up in a place she never bargained for.
In the case of St. Gianna Molla, she believed she chose 'right' and the Church agrees.
So, even though she died, she was a winner.
But some (most?) may not agree that death is a win.
Or any other suffering for that matter.

Some women who have 'been there' because of a man want to make sure their daughter never 'goes there'.
Hence the advice 'never ever be in a position to need a man. Kill your own darn snake'.

But is this really good advice? Really?
I don't know.
Anyone shedding some credible light on this for me will be highly regarded.

Should a woman accept this vulnerability? Because it is inseparable from true femininity?
Is this the 'curse of Eve' that all women are born with and start trying to shed like from birth?

Should ST be shot for even bringing up this topic?

Although I am myself a woman, I can't help feeling that not only have I entered a room I should not, I have opened the female locker room to all and sundry.

But I feel compelled to ask this question. I feel I cannot take another step in life unless I have an answer to this question. It is that important.
Any other woman feel the need to explore this?

I really hope I am not the only one.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Rationalisation Hamster: Crazy little sister of 'Frame'?

Any gentlemen here have a little sister? What's the verdict?
Best present Mum and Dad could give me?
Why couldn't the stork keep her?


It was only a matter of time before I was going to write about the 'rat ham'.

It is surely the most overused term in the Manosphere. There are so many references to the rat ham that it is quite the skill to navigate your way through The Manosphere minefield without accidentally stepping on one.

It does exist in a big way in most if not all women, I can vouch for this :-)
But is the 'rat ham' all that bad?
Can I even be objective about this beast being a woman myself?

Can I convince anyone that the rat ham can be a good thing?
At the risk of failing miserably, I shall try.

In the post about The lovable rogue I mentioned that some women have this knack of liking men in abundance. It seems to be a natural thing with them.
Yes I am sure it could indeed be 'natural', as can be all aspects of femininity.
And it sure helps to be around good men.
But in the absence of innate 'femininity', an entourage of good men and everything else which would enable a woman to 'see the good in men', a woman has one last piece of artillery in her armoury.
Her own imagination.

Otherwise known as her friendly Rationalisation Hamster.

Yes, it is this same animal that will enable her to believe that the heavily tattooed unemployed beach bum with the drug and alcohol problem really is husband material.
Totally self-delusional and therefore self-destructive.

As the owner of a rat ham, I can categorically state that sometimes it is a real hindrance, yes. Especially when it is fed by the wrong herd or society in general, if society is 'wrong' about a particular issue.
So sometimes it is a good thing for a woman to kill her own hamster or at least stop feeding it gourmet food. I get that.
I also understand that the Manosphere in talking about the rat ham so much is actually in the business of helping women get a very ugly monkey off their collective backs.
So in recognition of this, I do say 'Thank you'. It's nice to know the 'intent' behind every (even seemingly vicious) action.

But...and there is always a but!

If the hamster is dead, how can she rationalise that you are a lovable rogue?
There is a good and bad side to everything, no?

The question is, are men prepared to take the good with the bad, or are they wishing for the 'selective rat ham'?
Is this feasible?
Is this not 'pie in the sky'?
Does this woman with the selective hamster exist?
Can I meet her?
And if I do, I would like to know what colour Pill she is on...I don't think it would be red - it certainly won't be blue :-)

Leaving aside the 'rat ham' for now, I was thinking about a comment Bellita made under the post about Seal.
In response to my comment that Seal had felt 'privileged' that a beautiful woman like Heidi Klum wanted to be with him (nevermind that she was pregnant with another man's child at the time), Bellita made the point that the rationalisation hamster is indeed alive and well in men too.

I concluded to myself that yes, this could be least in (all-)beta, supplicating type men that Seal was proving himself to be.

But somehow, I felt odd harbouring this belief.
This is where it gets all fuzzy for me.

Any help in decluttering my thoughts would be welcome.

From this point onwards, perhaps my own rat ham will be doing fancy somersaults on the ferris wheel, so bear with me :-)

Is the 'rationalisation hamster' not just a woman's (perhaps desperate) attempt to create a 'frame'?
With one important caveat perhaps.
That she is working rather 'hard' to create this 'frame'.

In other words, is a man's 'frame' something he perceives quite effortlessly, and is in many ways 'outcome independent' (he doesn't need to work so hard to maintain this frame - he either believes it or not) whereas a woman has to work hard to keep the 'frame' going and as such, her 'behaviour' regarding this 'frame' belies said effort?

In the post 'And I am not ashamed to say it', I make mention of the 'Single and happy' (mostly) female crowd and how their repeated and often loud assertions to this 'fact' make it quite suspicious that some serious work is being done to keep up the 'pretty lie'.
At some point, one really has to stop and check to see how much effort it is taking to say something.
Because too much effort implies that what is being stated may be unture, even to the speaker.

Another feminine example I have come across is in the realm of the 'reluctant bride'.
If a woman is having to convince herself/rationalise away that a particular man is the right choice, then perhaps he really is not?
And then it all comes out in the wash a few years later...
Buyer and seller beware...

Do men ever really convince themselves of something? Do they have to?
Did Seal really believe that a pregnant woman, no matter how beautiful, was the absolute best he could have?
Or did he rationalise away that despite the possible 'negative' (sure, a pregnant woman is not every man's 'negative' in the dating world, but I imagine there would not be too many takers for a currently-pregnant woman in the SMP/MMP), this woman was worth sacrificing his freedom for?

If 'frame' and the 'rat ham' are simply the different ways men and women 'perceive' and 'process' their thoughts then surely 'frame' and the rat ham share the same parentage, no?
They are brother and sister.
Except that in the male mind, 'frame' is the gold standard, and 'rat ham' to quote many a Manosphere citizen, is 'b*t sh*t crazy'.


Is this a fair assessment of an important feature of the female psyche?
Or is this the proverbial stick men are using to bash women everywhere simply because they do not like this aspect of their psychological make-up - at least when it is not working for men?

Can I even use the word 'fair' here?
Will a man respond 'deal with it' in the same way he is asked to 'deal with' a woman's hypergamy?

I have another question on this topic:
If the rat ham is sans logic, as is often the accusation lobbed at it, is 'frame' the epitome of logic?

Actually, another huge question:
If 'frame' can be taught, as in PUA technique, then does it not turn into just another form of the 'rat ham'? In which case, it doesn't deserve to be called 'frame' anymore? Because 'frame' should be something that is intrinsic to a man's thinking, and should not come from outside of him, no?
I am going here by the following definiton of 'frame':

A steadfast belief that is unshakeably entrenched in the sensory apparatus of a man. Something he perceives and both his conscious and subconscious minds are in agreement that it is indeed as is.

Is this an accurate definition?

If there were to be a debate on this issue, any suggestions as to the perspectives of the respective genders?

Would this be a good example?

Male perspective: This house believes that the rationalisation hamster is a seriously deranged evil little monster that does not deserve oxygen let alone food and water.
For: Manosphere authority on all things female.
Against: Unsurprisingly, rationalisation hamsters and their flighty owners.

Female perspective: This house believes that the rationalisation hamster is a healthy part of being a normal, well adjusted and feminine woman.
For: Planet Woman Snowflakes.
Against: All you who just don't understand...