Thursday, 22 May 2014

You Can't Filter Out The Chaos

The men of the Manosphere complain a lot about the behaviour of the women they have met. Read closely and the majority of the stories are about women who are damaged at worst, lacking coherence in their personality (aka “batshit crazy”) or actually malicious (aka “shrews, bitches, users and abusers”). Not all women are like that, but all the women these men have met are, and since they have no idea where to find the good ones, for all their practical purposes, all women are like that. Those men should probably give up on trying to find a female live-in companion, because they aren’t very good at it.

If the older men of the Manosphere are complaining that women are all users and abusers, the younger men of the Manosphere complain that they cannot find a “nice girl” who wants to get married and raise a family. Some may reference the 1950’s as some lost Golden Age of conventional values when they do so. What these men want is a housekeeper / valet / childminder / cook who is also a sexual and social partner. It didn’t work very well in the 1950’s, and it barely works at all now. What they get are women who don’t need to make nice with a young man just so they can leave home. The girls have their careers, and independence, and credit cards and passports, and they really do need a man like a fish needs a bicycle. They don’t all feel like that, but it turns out quite a proportion do.

One way of interpreting the divorce statistics is that, in fact, about a quarter of the women in any cohort do not want to be married, and hence get out quickly before having children, or of course, are lifetime bachelor girls. At the moment the girls can’t just say they want to be single, as men can say they are happy to stay bachelors, so they adopt a number of smokescreens: “focusing on my career”, “where have all the good men gone”, “too busy to meet people”, “men won’t commit” and so on. This is not intended to fool anyone, anymore than their make-up is intended to fool us that their skin is any better than it is. It’s a mask, just like their make-up.

The truth is that a fair proportion of men and women never did want to spend their lives in domestic partnership. They put up with it because accidental children and complementary labour: he worked the big animals or the cash crops, while she managed the kitchen garden and killed the chickens. One person could not really do it all, and two struggled. Now, of course, one person can if they are paid enough or prepared to live cheap enough. And Capital likes single people: it doubles the sales of almost everything.

I can’t sympathise with the young men of the Manosphere on the lack of purple squirrels, but then I’m lifetime single and have done all my own cooking, shopping, cleaning, ironing and other chores all my life. Hire a cleaner to come in every week: there’s four of you in the flat, between you it’s no cost at all. Learn to cook, most of the best chefs are men, and you get to play with sharp knives and flames. Soldiers do their own ironing and polish their own shoes from time to time, so I figure it won’t hurt you. (As for the whole children thing, it’s a mystery to me, as is anorexia, self-harm and marriage.)

However, the complaints of the older men do serve a purpose. These men remind us that we are all flawed, that those flaws will turn into cracks and breakages, and those flaws have expressions now. Nobody gets saner as they get older, unless they get into Recovery, so a woman with red-flag behaviour in her late-twenties is going to be a liability or even a threat in her early forties.

A young man needs to know he has to filter the women he meets. He needs to know how to identify addictions, personality disorders, bad attitudes, excessive debt, other men’s children and the many other red flags. He needs to know these things are not only possible, but actually probable, and he needs his illusions about women dispelling. The young women he meets are, after all, filtering the men they meet for sexual adventurers, broke-assed scrubs, addictions, personality disorders, bad attitudes, excessive debt and so on. In contrast, they have no illusions about men. Of course, if all anyone wants is a one-night stand, there isn’t much to be filtered for, except actual violence, STDs and unwanted pregnancy.

No filters are fine enough for a lifetime live-in relationship. Everybody changes, the flaws in everybody’s souls and bodies turn into breakages, and there is always a chance that Mr/Ms Right will come along to turn heads and hearts. Looking for a lifetime partner is as silly as looking for a car that will last all your life: cars aren’t made like that, and neither are people. (The cars that do last all someone’s life? Re-built at least once, unless a Rolls-Royces or a Bentley, and cared for weekly. And towards the end of their lives, only ever taken out for show.) If two people do stay together for life, they have re-built their relationship at least once, if not more. And they had time for each other.

Relationships are not a “risk” - risk implies uncertainty, and there is no uncertainty here. You and your partner will change, will crack, will cause each other heartache and pain. It might be anything from early-onset Alzheimer’s (nobody’s fault) to a Legal-Aid funded divorce motivated by boredom and malice (somebody's fault) to sustained unemployment, a debilitating injury or just plain loss of interest. The relationship might recover, and it might not. If it never happens to you, this is not because of your superior virtue, but a long streak of good luck.

The difference between employers (or clients) and partners is that if you do not pay your taxes and due bills you will go to jail, but if you don't get laid when you feel horny, well, that’s what the Internet is for. People have to take bad jobs, but they don’t have to take bad partners. And an employer doesn’t demand a contribution to its future revenues from the staff who leave. Getting married has a thirty per cent chance of dumping you back out on the market within ten years, maybe with child support payments, maybe not. It’s also the only chance you have of raising two amazing children and still wanting to shag their mother, whom you married all those years ago.

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