Conservatives act like 1970s black Americans about male provision

Let me count the ways…

  1. Emphasis on self-employment because the (liberal) Man is prejudiced against their kind, without providing any meaningful reserve or protection against the volatility of this choice.
  2. De-emphasis correspondingly on male provision as an important part of being a husband, including discouraging men who want to do that as cavemen or delusional.
  3. Both overt and covert encouragement of women to produce the primary income in a marriage, either by openly promoting an egalitarian view that women can and do earn as much as men as sole or primary providers, or by defining the SAHM life as incomplete or lazy/leisured if there’s no income-generating going on.
  4. Related, but its own thing, pushing a “working homemaker” ideal where even if you do work full time or close to it, you are still expected to home-make at effectively a full time level too.
  5. Defending the extremely rare stay at home father as a paragon of manliness and as perfectly common and therefore something women should be expected to take seriously as a possible path in their marriages.
  6. Declaring any woman who talks about the importance of financial provision within marriage by the husband as a gold digger or money obsessed or not bringing a supportive and Godly spirit to marriage, etc.
  7. Raising daughters and loving sons.  This means encouraging girls to pursue practical options with education and prepare to earn a living while telling young men to follow their bliss and/or pursue self-employment and encourage this by not expecting them to work.
  8. Video games and pornography are heroin and crack.

With immediately post-Civil Rights Act black Americans, some of this was not surprising and they did still have to face actual race prejudice making male employment riskier and more fragile even within marriage.  They also were looking at affirmative action preferences quickly shifting towards favoring black women over black men due to killing two birds with one stone (another reason straight quotas would have been less poisonous).

Conservatives, though, are doing a lot of this for ideological and unstated class reasons.  Many and probably most conservatives are not middle class but rely on declaring themselves such as a major part of their subculture’s cohesiveness.  But these are not middle class behaviors now that most of the people promoting them have college educations, which is the major difference between white conservatives and 1970s black Americans.

What average salary should men and women be making to get married?

Apparently the answer is “20k more than the woman you plan to wife up”.

The gap between married women and married men’s average earnings is about 20k regardless of actual earnings until men are in their 30s, when married men’s average goes up into 40k more than the married women average through their 30s.

So guys who are married in their early 20s average 30k, but girls married in their early 20s average 10k.  Mid20s, 50k/30k, respectively.  Mid30s, 70k/50k.

Another way to look at it is that single men never boost their earnings out of the range they share with married women (for both single men and married women, average income peaks around 50k/yr through 30s and 40s).  Men who want to marry all start out higher earning, even among men who marry by 20.

So the single guys who remain at each stage of average income are the ones who just aren’t making the financial leaps upward.  Single women have it even worse, they don’t hit that 50k peak until their 50s, and are down in the 40k range through most of their working years, below married women and single men.

One interesting set of interpretations is that married women on average expect married men to be the ones to take income over benefits and generous leave while they expect to not have to choose and thus don’t.  And men who want to marry won’t if they aren’t pretty confident they can decisively earn 60% or more of the household income.

Data reference is from here, covering people who were born in the 1990s as the youngest end of the spectrum.

Why men have to work to support families

If you don’t make them do it, they sure won’t on their own.  They will mostly play.  I’m not talking about all men, obviously, but men really need the provision thing hammered into them in a way that isn’t the case with women.

Usually when the topic of male provision comes up, someone always wants to bring up edge cases like a crippled or injured man.  But functioning patriarchal societies handle those edge cases as the individual cases they are.  They recognize that there’s a distinction between drinking away your pay and being unable to work because a horse kicked you and rendered you paraplegic.  Other people, often women, want to bring up the case of women making more money or having inherited money.  Again, the man still has to have something obviously productive to do because men need that push more.

Just as women need the comforts of home and hearth more and will end up trying to turn the office into a home if their natural homemaking impulses are deranged, men will easily be content with a lean-to and a few handfuls of nuts and berries if they have no chance for a family or membership in a properly ordered male collective.  Pro-family is usually going to be pro-male provision.  Even in societies where getting food is easier, the men still provide things like the primary family buildings or fortifications.  So it’s not really an exclusively modern or capitalist notion, again, as some try to claim.  Men build the grass huts even if women are growing much of the food.

Given this requirement, promoting marriage without pursuing goals for male employment at all income levels is a hollow gesture.

Real Talk for SAHMs, Infant Sleep Edition

It’s the electricity.  Without artificial light in the form of streetlights, electric night lights, and the glow from various appliances and gadgets, even frequent wakers among babies would sleep longer.

Thus, the conflicting advice on how to get an infant to “sleep better” only serves to divide and instill needless guilt about not having a “good sleeper” when the problem is something much bigger and not easily erased with better planning.  One of the reasons co-sleeping is more effective at extending infant sleep anecdotally is because master bedrooms tend to be the darkest room in the house at night.  A lot of infants are put in cribs with glowing monitors and/or night lights, which is mostly not the case when the baby is in a cosleeper or bedsharing.

The recent trend of fretting about nighttime computer use and “blue light” from laptops and smartphones and tablets affecting adult sleep is the tip of a huge iceberg of modernity.

Our foremothers got more sleep at night even with frequent-waking infants because even a pretty frequent waker just seems to drop some wakeups in (relatively) natural night darkness.  And it is really hard to get rid of all the sources of light.  We live in a part of the country where people are wired for generators because of the rural setting and it’s still lit up to a high degree at night, even homes nowhere near the street lights.  And it is quite shocking to realize how much stuff glows at night in the kitchen, the living room, the bathroom, etc.

I’ve seen wakings go from every 90 minutes to every three hours just by putting the infant in approximately natural darkness.  However, it is very difficult to maintain in any kind of standard American household setting, even among homeschooling conservatives who don’t have televisions (but definitely have some iDevices lurking).

Now there’s a practical project I’d love to see some technically adept conservatives tackle– housing design so that natural darkness can be preserved during nighttime.  There are a number of possible strategies, and imagine being able to live in such a home, or have your own home modified to have both modern electric lighting and the ability to get a mostly natural level of darkness at night even in the city.  The health benefits to mothers alone would probably increase the old TFR by a couple tenths of a point.  Fertility can sometimes be delayed partly because of the sleep deprivation that has become the unfortunate norm for modern SAHMs.

Promote apprenticeships and certifications rather than college degrees

The fixation on college degrees is endemic among conservatives, for all that they claim to not be like those wacky liberals on the matter.  This is especially true among homeschoolers, who are just as wedded to the SWPL-liberal notion of college as crucial to financial success as any Tiger Mama.  But promoting apprenticeships and certifications is a way to sidestep the entire college cargo cult and provide economic opportunity for even not-bright men to save up and build a life and support a family.

At present in America, about the only groups promoting apprenticeships or certifications successfully are a few old-line heavy trades unions (who remain white-ethnic to a degree that is astonishing in modern America) and a few highly abstract professions like actuaries and accountants.  The key is to have either or both of apprenticeships and certifications be directly relevant to the industry work in question.  IT failed to do this, so those certifications lost value over time and are now not as reliable or useful to acquire.

Conservatives and pro-family people more broadly need to look at developing useful apprenticeships and certifications on a formalized scale for other industries and then hiring based on those.  Will there be disparate impact and legal issues?  Honestly, probably not.  Disparate impact is increasingly determined by what kinds of jobs the professional managerial class (PMC) wants to keep open for their own mostly white adult children.

This is one way to sidestep the college treadmill but still employ the men (and widows, for that matter) so they can support families and offers a robust approach that can last for generations to come.

Quit pinning your hopes on IT employment to sustain conservative households

This fragility is hardly sustainable or robust or even terribly conservative.

Conservatives, especially the ones drawn to homeschooling, homesteading and other self-sufficient/independent type movements (check that irony!) really have a blind spot a mile wide on this one.  IT employment is in fact subversive and crimethinky, but the fact that it disproportionately has conservative, traditionally living people employed in it doesn’t make it conservative or traditional at all.  The fact that IT employment can and does allow many a white Christian conservative male to make 60k+ a year and support a private homeschooling and homesteading household is a temporary phenomenon and the really rich types who run the industry are working hard to ensure that this phenomenon doesn’t persist much longer.

Probably in another short post I will explain in more detail why IT employment is subversive and threatening, but for now, let’s just take that as a given because the IT titans sure are.  Thus, conservatives relying on an endless supply of decent, well-paying IT jobs (particularly without a college degree required) to support a homeschooling SAHM and 4-6 kids are putting their eggs in a fragile basket.  It’s no Galt moment to move out to the sticks but be chained to telecommuting for large corporations who have every incentive to destroy that option for you and your family.  It’s also completely antithetical to the loudly proclaimed localism and community focus of these sorts of sufficiency-driven conservatives.

Now, I am not saying nobody should be employed in IT.  What I am saying is that it is not practical or conservative to promote IT employment as basically the One True Path to self-sufficiency.  A cushy IT telecommuting work at home gig is nearly always lurking behind so much conservative spiel about self-sufficiency and crunchy conservative localism, etc. etc.  I’ve seen the pattern over and over and over, that sticking it to the librulz is done by the guy getting some IT gig that lets him work from home a lot and the woman stays home raising and teaching kids and growing all the food.  I’ve already covered a little bit how silly and unfeasible the latter part is, but putting so much hope and reliance on a single industry that *doesn’t like your beliefs or you and is working to push you out entirely* is even more economically insane.  This is not how to build a sustainable alternative economic structure.

But, don’t quit that cushy IT gig just yet.  Just stop promoting it as a sign of how off the grid and “independent” you are.