The false choice between SAHM and Career Woman

If taken seriously, the housewife’s work is itself a “career” and should be accorded the necessary support as one would expect for any serious, decades-long work.  It’s further a false choice because having kids young can mean having an outside the home career in early middle age, as was an option among quite a few of the very women shoving their girls out of the home these days.

In older times, as well, the lower tiers of what is now thought of by Americans as upper-middle class or upper-class women often held ceremonial positions within royal households that were equivalent to careers even though they didn’t require working outside the household, because household management at all class tiers was taken much more seriously than is the case in the modern, supposedly classless American society.

This post further explores the idea that women working for money is not incompatible with a future life of housewifery.  This also goes back to traditional understandings of hierarchy and authority, and remembering that women are not supposed to submit to just any man anywhere because that is not itself a properly ordered understanding of the intersections of authority and hierarchy.

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Men can be alpha widows according to Henry James

In the ongoing annals of actually reading literature written before the 1960s that wasn’t listed on Mencius Moldbug’s website, I’ve been idling a bit with Henry James and one of his little quirks is the tale of the male alpha widow.

In a number of his tales, a man essentially alpha widows himself by becoming obsessed with an idealized younger him, while dragging a friendzoned lady friend along for a lifelong ride, ending with him being real sad that he wasted her life but not quite as sad as he is at the self-image that got away.

It’s very amusing to me that this is not terribly different from the manosphere and increasingly mainstream right-wing idea of the female “alpha widow” who ruins a marriage pining for the younger version of herself that dated a hot dude once, but the concept is presented as some sort of uniquely female thing despite not being gender or sex-bound at all.

Maybe someday some of these “realists” will come up with, well, realistic ideas of sex, gender and race.  Probably not anytime soon though, since it would involve reading books beyond easily found online excerpts.

Vox Day is a Practical Conservative

Being a practical conservative means doing things that are useful and helpful to those who’d like to live normally.  One of those things is producing high-quality homeschool curricula.  While some conservatives dismiss the importance of developing such things, they are actually pretty darned important to the task of creating a parallel society of educated, conservatively reared children.  Homeschooling isn’t a cure-all, but it is certainly one tool in the tool box of practical, conservative, traditionally focused living.

Vox Day is being serious here, using his new publishing house venture to publish and develop high-level homeschool curricula.  This looks like useful stuff.  

I’m busy popping out babies left and right, so I’m years away from having to worry about schooling options, but it’s good to see more efforts to develop high-quality curricula among those who promote homeschooling.

Peasant women find decent men attractive

Women with a peasant’s (or aristocrat’s if they come from that background) mentality find PUAs and most of the “game” playbook unsexy because it represents disloyalty and “feral” instability. Women who find loyalty and devotion to kin attractive don’t find a steady guy who takes his commitments to family and friends seriously to be unattractive. They marry those guys and it’s not settling because it’s precisely what they want in a man. And they tend to marry those guys before 30 (even in UMCland).

What I am wondering, though, is how common is that mentality among women these days? It seems like women up and down the class ladder don’t want to marry. The “white picket fence” perfection requirement is a sign that they aren’t really interested. There is something to the idea that some women are too prideful to marry. At least with some Christian women, they think they have to give up everything they think of as agency to marry even though they can usually see this isn’t true among the married women near them.

And I’ve come over the years to understand that some women don’t find loyalty in men unsexy– they find it threatening, as if his loyalty is a commentary on their life and moral fiber. So the idea that modern women are “feral” and “chasing tingles” misses a lot of the reasons why women aren’t marrying, particularly Christian women.

I refer to peasant (or very far up the class tree, aristocrat) mentality because a woman with that mindset doesn’t have a self-image that focuses on self-as-individual.  She defines herself in terms of her own kin and ethny and patrimony (where such exists).  She might join with another people through outmarriage to someone from another ethny, but she doesn’t think of the choice in individualist terms.  So unlike the meme that has infiltrated all the way into the mainstream right-wing of conservativeland, peasant women aren’t thrilled by violence with no point, by men with no loyalties and attachments beyond the next moment, by unstable sterility marketing itself as dangerous. Such women don’t like danger, they find devotion and demonstrations of loyalty to the right things (church, family, friends) to be what they want in a man.  They might well be blind to some men, but these are the women who are blind to feral men.

This is repurposed from a starter comment about some other stuff entirely and was inspired further by yet another manosphere blog post about the ferality of women as though it was in fact purely natural and not an artifact of prosperity.  I question that because it simply doesn’t make sense or match up with observed reality.

But then again, how many women are ok with hearing they have a peasant mentality?  It’s not all good.  Such a high level of risk aversion can sometimes make it hard to seize opportunities when they appear.  Still, I do wonder if it doesn’t still represent a substantial minority of women.  One can hope.

The absence of men due to war informs 20th century feminism

One klaxon-loud reason women wanted more hard economic power in the 20th century was because it was freaking hard to feed themselves under patriarchal restrictions on the type of work they could do when the patriarchs and patriarchs-to-be were all lying in pieces across various battlefields.

Patriarchy is fine when you actually have patriarchs.  When you don’t, it becomes harder to justify or enforce the strictures.  The astonishing loss of high-earning, high-status men in the Anglosphere during the World Wars had a lot of knock-on effects regarding female behavior that go utterly ignored by historically ignorant conservatives.  One of them is the whole “single middle class+ women haring about on mission trips” thing.  They went on missions because they couldn’t marry.  Their pool of men lay dead or hopelessly crippled beyond ability to produce, much less provide for a family.

One really can’t understand the grumpy feminist push for female independence without understanding the very real destruction of, well, patriarchal human capital represented by the shocking losses of the World Wars.

Leviticus And The Biblical Value of Daughters

In Leviticus, the length of purification time after the birth of a daughter is twice the length of the time for a son.  This is generally cited as proof that the Bible is anti-woman.  Having come to spend much more time in my life around birthing mothers, I see something that was always there if I could have but opened my world-blinded eyes.

The extra time for a daughter is extra bonding time and extra time for the husband as well.  Given the inheritance rules, if the times of “no-touch wifey” were the same, there would be temptation to rush things after the birth of daughters in a pursuit of sons.  But by enforcing a longer time of purification (and correspondingly time to physically recover and bond with the baby and enjoy that old oxytocin song) for daughters, this temptation is subverted and husbands have extra time to value their daughters and give their wives the reassurance of their faithfulness by abstaining for even longer than with a son.  It also, with the extra bonding time, provides a means for the very earliest sort of woman-to-woman support to happen. Thus, what looks like oppression is actually a way to establish that daughters are precious and to be valued despite the fact that their place and future follows a different path than that of sons.  Both different, but both precious and worthy of love.

Young marriage isn’t very traditional

It’s a prosperity artifact that has occurred in a handful of short-lived bursts of prosperity and then things go back to normal.  It is a fine thing to support and encourage as a conservative, but it can’t be advocated in a vacuum that presumes it is a historical norm.  The historical norm is to marry when it’s affordable, which was usually not when the girl was sixteen and the guy eighteen.  It was gasp when the girl was in her mid-20s and the guy a little older.

Funny how it’s now sooooo impossible for guys to wait until their mid-20s to marry for life and girls are dooming themselves to a river of cats and despair if they wait until after age 22 but in reality-land, it was always perfectly traditional and people found ways to deal with the lack of sex until marriage.  This mostly consisted of not having sex.  Shocking, I know.  It’s quite interesting that conservatives and liberals come together as one voice to declare that continence is impossible for humans, simply can’t be done, can’t expect it of anyone, so don’t even try.

The truth is that young marriage, if truly widespread, carries with it a higher risk of dissolution even when divorce isn’t “easy”.  All are not called to marry and conservatives really need to get back to accepting that reality and recognize just how much social pressure is necessary to prop up widespread marriage of young couples who are not necessarily fit for the institution.

Marriage is a social good, but you can have a society where 40-60% of people marry and you can have one where 75-85% of people marry, but the latter will have certain instabilities despite all the marriage that the former will not.  With the current economic and social turmoil and relentless promotion of abnormal things as normal, it’s difficult to understand the push for young marriage with no real social support or financial/economic support by conservatives all along the right-wing spectrum, from mainstream to odd internet subculture.

Marriage is traditional.  Young marriage is a nice to have, not a requirement for a normal society.