Manosphere conventional wisdom: Any half-way decent looking woman, in her late teens/early twenties who is marriage minded can easily snag a good, hard-working provider to have babies with if she would distinguish herself by being sweet, and signaling a willingness to a be quiet, deferent, submissive, peaceful help-meet.
Alternative Hypothesis: When accounting for variables such as race, geography, church size, etc., the marriage market for such a woman is more complex and difficult to navigate than this.
A cross-post by Scott and Elspeth.
The authors have both had experiences that appear to challenge the conventional wisdom on the matter of whether or not it is a “buyers’ market” for a devout Christian woman looking for a husband.
For example, this conversation appeared on a Facebook post where an American Dad post was shared. It was between Scott and a traditionalist Orthodox woman who was softly but adamantly challenging this assertion:
Jess: I have a daughter who is halfway cute, not obese, has no “you go grrrrl” careerist attitude and was raised to understand and even welcome the traditional Orthodox Christian view of a woman’s role in marriage. She wants to be married, have babies, be a homemaker. My daughter is 25. There are a number of young men in our parish. She is interested in at least one of them. We have been attending that parish for four years now.
Scott: So what’s the problem? Are the men not interested in her? This is actually something I am pretty passionate about (some form of courtship/match making WITHIN the Orthodox framework.). How can we help marry her off? This is very important.
Jess: This particular young man that my daughter is interested in is a bit younger than she is. He comes from a wonderful Orthodox family. They embrace the traditional view of Orthodox marriage. In fact, the parents have one. This young man actually invited my daughter into a relationship with him a year ago. He was very serious. He wasn’t looking for a casual relationship. He was interested in marriage. They began to spend time together. Talking, praying, reading, discussing the future — not like let’s get married right away because she has already finished college and he is stil in college. He was talking about attending seminary… All of a sudden, a couple of months into it, he reneged. He said he just wasn’t ready. Really broke her heart. He wanted to be “friends”; she said no, thank you. But later she changed her mind because it was so awkward and painful. There are a lot of young people in our parish and they do a lot together. Some of them have married each other already… So now he is busy going to school. She and he do speak to each other. And she is basically waiting for him.
This is confounding because if the description was accurate, and if it is generalizable in any way, there may be more than meets the eye here. Elspeth, who has all daughters with a large age range has been having similar experiences, although not exactly the same.
We stipulate the following:
1 .The Donal Graeme LAMPS rubric for understanding male attractiveness is a more or less accurate reflection of reality.
2. All things being equal, “chemistry” should be very intense between a couple looking to marry.
3. Most American Christian women have not been raised to have the kind of sweet, endearing qualities that the Bible proscribes for them.
Yet, there is a disconnect somewhere.
Elspeth brings a perspective to the topic because she is black and the specifics of race and her Christian sub-culture has highlighted and even amplified some of the urgency here. Contrary to popular lore, 75% of black women do marry by age 35. She is making peace that her girls (as special as they are to her) are probably going to be more like the average black woman than they are like their mother who married on the fly at age 22. It is now clear to her that she was always in a position to marry quickly as opportunities were more abundant for her in the early 90’s.
She originally believed that raising her girls in a heterogeneous environment is the reason they have had such a difficult time meeting someone of similar faith, values, and with whom they felt a connection. However, that same heterogeneous environment has afforded them the opportunity to become intimately acquainted with several young Christian, and non-Christian women. What they see is a statistical -albeit of a small sample- revelation. Her girls aren’t the only ones having a difficult time meeting men who are interested in marriage, or even in dating. They do have one friend who is not sure if she wants to marry right away.
As the media began to pick up on the ways our dating scene is slowly beginning to resemble the much publicized dysfunction of the Japanese mating culture, a light bulb came on for Elspeth. A significant percentage of the men and women who write on these topics are over age 35. Many had children later in life and are not yet familiar with the drastic change in the mating culture among today’s young people, and as such are framing their assertions from a perspective which is largely disconnected from reality on the ground for devout young people today.
For instance, many of today’s young people raised in Christian homes feel little to no compulsion to feign a devotion to the faith for the sake of their parents. Conversely, those who are truly devout are the ones more likely to hold fast to their commitment to chastity. In every represented generation, the stratification between believers and non-believers is starker than it has ever been. (People are no longer inclined to feign faith or attend church for social validation. There is little acknowledgment among the general population of even the social utility of Christianity). Couple that with the marked decrease in devout Christians as a whole, and the assertion that any attractive submissive woman can land a husband with great ease, and without compromising her chastity beforehand, rings patently false, at least in the aggregate. One must cast a larger net, or define “Christian” dating in such broad terms as to render it meaningless.
In the case of the young Orthodox girl and the man who left for seminary, would she have likely been proposed to had she slept with him? Probably not. It seems that this young man might be among the few devout men who actually values his own chastity as highly as hers. But our experience has been that even good, devout young men seem to wilt when it comes to sex if it is available. And then, because they have had sex with the young woman in question due to their own weakness as well as hers, they end up marrying her. The vast majority of men (including Christian men) marry women they are already sleeping with. A woman doesn’t do herself any favors by “offering sex” to get a ring, and this is not what we are advocating here. That would be a disastrous strategy guaranteed to backfire. However, young women who give in to a –sincere Christian- man’s desire for sex absolutely increases her chance of ending up as his wife.
Therefore, it appears there are a number of variables contributing to make an already dire situation look even more hopeless.
We are not convinced as of this moment that the problem with the Christian marriage market is one of carousel-riding girls who go to church on Sundays and pretend to be “good girls” surrounded by a bunch of monk-like, super disciplined chaste men waiting for the women to get their act together and notice the awesome catch who has been sitting next to them in the pews all along. This MAY be the case, but there might be some other, just as valid explanations for what is happening that are not incompatible with a basic red-pill understanding of hypergamic drives and such. We would agree—to the extent that there are women like that in the Sunday pews–they are not marriage material. Again, we assent that biological drives–which are amoral and intrinsic–result in different mating strategies between the sexes and these are not being channeled in godly ways almost anywhere in society.
For example, what if the culture (and by this we mean “conservative Christian culture”) has failed to produce young people of either sex who are aware of what marriage is, what it is for, how to find/make one, etc in numbers large enough to create a healthy pool of possible choices for them? Haven’t most men in those pews been conditioned to be pedastlizing, obsequious orbiters? Are there natural “alphas” and leaders in those pews who’s potential has been stymied? Is the average man in today’s church prepared to say “no” to his wife? To be the calm in her irrational emotional storms?
Allow us to elaborate a bit—if a modestly dressed, 19 year old chaste woman, who has been taught to sew, clean, do housework, be sweet, be frugal with her potential husbands money, walked into any random Christian church tomorrow—forget about any specific denomination or faith tradition—what are the chances she would meet a man who is decent looking, (remember—red-pill orthodoxy says that she should not marry a man she does not pine for) has also been saving himself, is signaling potential provider status, is working on leadership skills, etc? (In short–a traditional/red-pill man who is devout and wants to lead and love a family).
Not likely. And if they were in individual families, they would be (and are seen) as boorish Neanderthals. This is not a dig on them per se, it is evidence of a problem that may not be solvable in one generation, as it took several to create.
Is it possible that parents of the last several generations, responding to the cultural cues from blue-pill pastors and other sources have raised both sex children to be pretty useless at “traditional” marriage, and therefore a different approach to finding matches for them may be required?
(All of which begs a slew of questions about the future, society, what do we mean by “traditional” that have yet gone unanswered by even the deepest thinkers of the NRx)
At the very least, don’t parents who are aware of the situation have a moral obligation to assist their children when they are of marrying age? Are they (both sexes) trying to find a needle in a haystack and then entering a world as a married couple that thinks they are freaks? It has been discussed by both authors here that this assistance probably should come in the form of getting the young couple on their feet financially and offering mentorship to them in those early stages, which most teen and twenty somethings may not actually want.
If all the rhetoric of the manosphere/NRx/Traditonalist blogger and commenters has uncovered something, then it seems there is way more work to do on defining the solutions then “women who want to marry just be June Cleaver.” This is as oversimplified as Dennis Pragers “men who want to marry just be Ward Cleaver.”
We have only just begun to open this can of worms.