03 October 2012

On Hypergamic Affirmative Action



Slumlord had an interesting post on the concept of hypergamic affirmative action, wherein he took Vox to task for advocating policies that, essentially, subsidize beta males.  Slumlord’s post is poorly argued, to say the least.

Now, I have quite a lot of respect for Vox but I think he is totally wrong on this one. Hypergamy simply can't be socially engineered away, and the approach taken by the Ayatollahs and advocated by many in the manosphere i.e handicapping women in order to make second rate men look better is simply an affirmative action program for beta males.

Here’s his fundamental assertion, coupled with the appropriate definition.  I think the concept of sexual affirmative action is an intriguing one, and worthy of discussion, especially in the terms in which it is presented.  So far, so good.

The social, sexual and economic liberation of women in the latter half of the 20th Century has meant that for the first time women were able to compete with men in society without restriction. The result has been spectacular if not particularly beneficial to the happiness of women. Whilst not all degrees are created equal (men still overwhelming dominate the "hard" fields of knowledge) the fact that there are now more degree credentialed women than men is simply astonishing. As income is broadly correlated with economic well being,  its safe to assume that women have been able to achieve a economic parity with men. The manosphere may not like this result but the fact is that women have been able to effectively compete with men when the shackles of social convention have been removed.

This assertion is perhaps true for Australian women (I don’t know much about the government in Australia, or its interference in its labor market), and technically true for American women, but it is a highly misleading assertion.  It is not that women have been merely liberated; it is that they have been federally subsidized (and, in fairness, the same is true of a decent number of men as well).  It’s not as if the US government decided to step up its game in prosecuting those who infringed upon women’s negative rights (i.e. those rights derived from self-ownership); rather, a good portion of what the US government did consisted of giving women positive rights (i.e. those rights distributed by the government, like the right to vote, among a host of others).  Additionally, the government has also subsidized women’s actions through a variety of spending programs (such as WIC, welfare, and—in the area of education—federal education grants and the student loan racket).  Furthermore, the government has also passed a variety of legislation designed to give women a boost, legislation like Title IX, the EEOC, and things of that nature.  This is not, by any definition of the word, liberation; this is political pandering.

If women had merely received liberation, it seems highly unlikely that so many of them would pursue education, or pursue employment, given that the costs of doing so would be radically higher in a truly liberal (which here has a definition more closely aligned with libertarian than with leftist) society.  Additionally, women often work jobs in “soft” fields, and some of these jobs only exist to comply with the massive amount paperwork demanded by the current regulatory regime.  Thus, the more appropriate comparison would be that women are able to compete with men after the shackles were taken off women, put on men, and then the women were given a generous head start.  This, incidentally, is hardly the stuff of liberation.

Another question worth pondering is this:  if social convention is so shackling, why does overcoming it require so much federal subsidy, as opposed to merely enforcing the basic right of self-ownership?

In my experience, women today seem to have more "balls" than men do.  They seem more driven, more ambitious and can make stuff happen. They seem to cope better with adversity than many of my male patients.  With most women, life goes on. The kids need to be fed, the uniforms washed and the bills paid. Many men flounder. My readers may not like this but they are my objective observations.

To be precise, these observations are purely subjective (i.e. perceptual) and self-selective.  My experience of working with women—on various jobs and on projects in college—has basically taught me that if stuff is going to get done correctly in a timely fashion, it’s best to put a guy in charge.  Women tend to do better work when being directed instead of being directors.  However, my experience in this matter is limited, and I know NAWALT.  I would bet that the reality of the matter is that there are a decent number of women who are good at leading and getting things done; a decent number who are basically worthless at leading and getting things done, and quite a few who are somewhere in the middle.  Thus, slumlord’s observations, though undoubtedly true, are far from the entire picture, and can be counterbalanced by other anecdotes.

I'm not applauding this phenomenon or deriding it but simply stating the fact of it. The fact is that there are many women of great ability and intelligence. Now its true that this ability can impaired by failing to educate a woman or denying her a role in the economic system, but the innate ability and potential remains. All of us know individuals who, through the hardships of life, were denied an education but are yet wise, prudent and industrious. We also know others who have gone to the best schools but remain eternal morons. In the real world educated morons are no match for the street wise.

Correct.

Now, suppose we take a bright girl and deliberately hamper her education and deny her economic liberty in order to make her dependent on a man. Now, suppose we introduce her to some buffoon who has finished at Harvard. Does his artificial status enhancement satisfy her hypergamic desires?

Let’s flip this around:  suppose we take a dull girl and give her a shitty education but tell her that it’s good (after all, this piece of lambskin wouldn’t lie to you, would it?).  Now, suppose we introduce to her an intelligent man who eschewed college in favor of starting his own business but is currently going through tough times getting it started.  Does her artificial status enhancement cause her to be more or less likely to reject this guy who has fewer credentials even though he is truly better than her?

Hopefully, this silly hypothetical question concisely demonstrates the inherent fallacy in slumlord’s original hypothetical.  For, even if education were an artificial status booster, the mere fact that he can attain an artificial status booster is itself an indicator of status (this is called signaling).  For, even if the man is an idiot, the only way an idiot graduates from Harvard is of he is loaded or if he has a ton of personal connections, or if he has charisma.  Incidentally, each of those aforementioned things are still attractive to women.  So, even if a man is a buffoon, he can still be attractive to women if he is wealthy, charismatic, or well-connected.  I believe Roissy covered this many years ago, so this observation should not be news.

I mean, after getting to know him she recognises that he has some social status but in real life can't manage his own affairs, make a decision or have an opinion. Is such a man attractive to her? Ponder this last point.

The answer is:  it depends on what she finds most attractive.  If she’s a gold digger or a status whore, she may not actually care if the man is dumber than a box of rocks.  If all women everywhere prized the ability to manage one’s own affairs over anything else, there would be a larger number of unmarried pro athletes.  The fact of the matter is that there is a lot of variety of attraction triggers for women.  Women are not equal, either in desire or in foresight.  Gold diggers marry dumb jocks and senile billionaires for the money, because—tautologically—money is the indicator of status that some women find to be most attractive.  Donald Trump has married multiple beauties, and he’s declared bankruptcy multiple times.  Were his exes attracted to his ability to manage his own affairs?

Sure, she may marry such a man because of her limited options, economic necessity or social convention but she is doing it for other reasons besides being attracted to him. Any marriage where the partners are there for  mutual convenience instead of mutual attraction soon becomes a prison to one or both.  Modern divorce laws are perhaps the most destructive solvent in the West today but it would be a mistake to think all was well with the institution of marriage prior to their introduction. Traditionalists fail to explain the surge in divorce once it became liberalised. Happy marriages don't fail; its the unhappy ones that do, and its quite obvious that there were a lot of unhappy (and sexless) marriages in the good ol' days .

Does anyone seriously think that attraction is the only motivation for marriage?  This is not to say that attraction should be ignored, but the decision to marry consists of more than simply asking the question, “is this the person I want to have sex with once a week for the rest of my life?” Thus, the argument that attraction should be the sole reason for marriage is a non-starter.  (In fairness, though, this seems to be term conflation.  It would be more correct to implicitly assert that attraction should be the foundation of marriage.)

Now, he is correct in asserting that a good number of marriages were terrible prior to advent of modern divorce laws, but the solution to this problem is not divorce; it is God.  But then again, if most people are going to enter the wide gate, then it should go without saying that most people are going to be miserable, even in their marriages.  Not only that, once the disciples heard Christ’s teaching on marriage and divorce in Matthew 19, the conclusion that they came to was that it was better to avoid marriage.  I bet the real issue is that most people would make for terrible spouses, and if they were serious about marriage, they would do their level best to avoid it.

Happy marriages are marriages of mutual desire. It's not a prison when you want to be there it's only a prison when you don't.  In order for a woman to be attracted to her partner (and therefore want to have sex with)  he has to satisfy her hypergamic imperative. The problem with female hypergamy is that is is relative to the woman's own ability and status. A dumb woman has an deep ocean of suitable suitors, a smart woman a far smaller pond. Sure, some women may have an overinflated opinion of their own capability (they are easily cut down to size) but a naturally superior woman has a real problem. She may marry a man because of her economic disability, she may stay with him for the love of God but there is no way in hell that she'll want to screw her husband's brains out if she is not sexually attracted to him. Sexual attraction is an animal instinct not a rational calculation and it is conditional on the satisfaction of her hypergamic desires. He has to be smarter, wiser, and more challenging than the woman. Socially disadvantaging women in no way fixes this problem. For if a man hath no alpha then his woman hath no desire. Alpha here does not mean straight out sexual allure, but things such as masculine virtue and intelligence. Taking away a woman's rights in no way gives a man alpha qualities. There's the problem.

Now, in spite of the terrible argument heretofore, slumlord actually reaches a correct conclusion; it’s as if he’s been reading Mencken. Happy marriages are indeed based on mutual desire (as well as trust; Athol Kay refers to this balance as attraction and comfort).  However, even his conclusion is a little misguided.  God doesn’t care about how happy one might be in one’s marriage.  The purpose of marriage was not solely concerned with personal happiness.  The primary purpose of marriage was reproduction.  Not only that, but Malachi points out that God doesn’t simply desire for a married couple to produce offspring, but he desires them to produce Godly offspring, which is why he hates divorce.

Now, ideally, marriage would produce both children and copious amounts pair-bonding wherein two become one flesh, but the fundamental purpose of marriage is production of Godly offspring, not happiness.  Thus, if the two outcomes are ever conflict, raising Godly offspring is to take precedence over personal happiness.  Difficult is the way and all that.

Still, I can’t think of a single legitimate reason why there should be a conflict between being happy and raising Godly offspring.  There’s nothing inherent in the task of raising Godly offspring that demands that spouses be unattractive to one another, and so Slumlord’s general point remains:  There is no reason why husbands shouldn’t work to be attractive to their wives.  And there is consequently no purpose—save malice—in stripping a woman of her rights in order to make more men more attractive to her.

The manosphere rightly criticises women for their diminishing femininity, but what the manosphere does not do so well is criticise the increasing infantisation of men.  When Roosh and his followers point out that quality women are only to be found outside the U.S. he is giving the masculine version of the modern feminist lament that there are no good men at home. What many manosphere commentators fail to recognise is that the nice computer nerd is the male equivalent of the nice fat chick. The manosphere demands thinness  but criticises women for wanting its feminine equivalent. Mote, beam, eye. It's all a bit of hypocrisy.

Here, I think, is the most important part:  most men simply do not deserve good wives, and thus good marriages.  Most men are not attractive.  And not simply in the looks department.  Most of the men I have met are weak, back-biting, narrow-minded losers.  Many of the young men I know have no goals or direction in life; they seem content with dead-end jobs, Xbox and porn.  I sincerely hope they avoid marriage.

Many of the older men I know are not much better.  A good number of them are gossipy, narrow-minded old fools who would rather engage in petty power struggles than work together in the best interest of others.  They seem like a bunch of bitter old bitches.

Even a good number of middle-aged guys that I know can be characterized as losers.  They are overly deferential to their wives, they don’t act as fathers to their children, they allow themselves to be disrespected by everyone.  They are losers, through and through.

And so, while I agree with the MRA crowd that most women would make for terrible wives, I also agree with Slumlord that most men make for terrible husbands.  Quite simply, most people in this world are self-absorbed cowards, too afraid to live up to their potential, and too weak to suppress their self-destructive tendencies.  No wonder their marriages and relationships turn cancerous.

Thus, mankind’s greatest hypocrisy is revealed.  As women desire alpha males who will somehow bring home untold millions of dollars while allowing them to get fat and eschew housework in favor of Pinterest, so to do men desire fashion models that will be content to make sandwiches and provide other oral pleasures while allowing their man to spend all his time watching football and playing Xbox, while earning just enough money to keep food on the table.  Both Men’s and Women’s fantasies are delusional, and any attempt at enacting them is bound to failure because the fantasies are inherently selfish, and therefore inherently self-destructive.

3 comments:

  1. Most men are looking for a wive about as good as they are a husband. Mediocre used to match mediocre and they had kids who grew up in a home with two parents.

    Now, not so much.

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  2. Describing the ugliness of modern men and women reminded me of RooshV's comparison of American men and women (and Canadian, for that matter) to a pair of spotty-dogs mating on the beach in Brazil, one with a bicycle tire stuck around its neck.

    *Shudder*

    I just left a company staffed by the most venal, gossipy, lesbianized men it's ever been my misfortune to meet - though I also made friends with a married ex-army Alpha, and came away with a bit of cash.

    The White Knights sicken me.

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  3. You don't post for a week, and then you post week's worth of posts. Dude: Give a brutha some time!

    Where was I?

    This post was an excellent addition to the conversation Slumlord is having.

    @Aurini

    The White Knights sicken me.

    This is what I hate about Game, and its adherents. The 1984 doublespeak aspect reeks to me of control tactics. White Knights are the good guys. To whatever extent those men are supplicating, and not acting like men, they are not White Knights. For at least a thousand years the White Knight of Christendom is seen as a good. A decade of Game, and suddenly they're a buzzword for sissies. Rubbish.

    It seems better to say that Simon is calling out the dearth of truly manly men, and only from among such can White Knights be chosen: one knight for one wife.

    Mind: I don't hate its adherents, but their insistence on changing the meaning of words.

    ReplyDelete