In which the blogger Deep Strength illustrates my points about exercise, health and idolatry

Apparently when I reblogged his post, wordpress interpreted it as a comment on his post, and so I got a response notification.  Having finally had a chance to look it over, I’m going to blog the comment, because it so perfectly illustrates all the points I already blogged and noted.

My responses are in bold, since he’s fisking my commentary.

And as usual, TPC proves my point by making random assumptions that aren’t true.

Another Christian falling prey to the idea that lifestyle-identity is great when it’s also idolatry.

Healthy living is now an idol. You heard it here first.

Yes the phrase “healthy lifestyle” is correlated with idolatry in the form of identifying with something that doesn’t require a distinct identity in the first place.  Pursuing more physical activity and eating wholesome foods should not be labelled “healthy lifestyle” because that is a consumerist view of the matter, which should be holistic for us Christians.

Going to a gym is not the only possible healthy lifestyle and the entire concept of healthy lifestyle is consumerist, not Christian. Living a life where physical activity is just part of life is the historical human norm and wealth means most people now have to spend money to live that way. But sneering at them for not adopting that particular mode of consumption (which in the case of this blogger happens to be self-serving “I work in the fitness industry”) is not exactly Christian or loving.

What consumption?
Gym membership? It’s certainly easy to work out at home. I’ve done it for years before.

It’s not easy to work out at home if you’re exhausted from a 3 hour roundtrip commute.  Or four kids under age 6.  Or taking care of your husband’s father with dementia and three kids under 5.  Or any number of other typical examples of what Christian families face as obstacles to working out even at home.  And that’s not getting into equipment (how to afford it and where to put it), since bodyweight exercises alone are not remotely enough to maintain physical capabilities into old age. Funny how these single men with no responsibilities always say the same old thing about how it’s soooooooo easy.  Yes, if you devote yourself to your idol, you mysteriously have plenty of time to spend worshipping your temple-body. 
Nutrition? It’s easy to buy cheap healthy foods if you look for sales, use your local co-op, and buy cheap starches like rice and potatoes. Eating junk food may be slightly more expensive at best, and is definitely more expensive in the long run when you run into health problems.

Cheap nutritious food requires a lot of cooking time, time which can’t be spent exercising and often not child-caring for the Christian SAHMs who tend to carry a little extra around.  People who home cook are sometimes quite fat despite using fresh ingredients and making everything from scratch.  And speaking of making random false assumptions, notice how Deep Strength is quick to assume I support or think people have to have junk foods, and how he also assumes a false binary between “junk food” and “cheap healthy food”.  He also assumes a co-op is readily available all over the country, in every county, city and town, which is a completely false assumption.  Most conservative Christian married couples with children (the people I am primarily concerned with and a big part of the group “Christians” Deep Strength was saying hatehatehate eating decently and being physically active) do not live where they have access to a co-op for food purchases in bulk.  

And I am not going to delve into the bitter hilarity of this single guy handwaving the logistics of shopping with little kids for bargains as “easy”.  

 
Ah, yes, working in the fitness industry is now “self serving.” I see where this is going.

Instead of “working in the fitness industry” helping people near him do more physical activity in their daily lives without going to a gym would be another option.

Already give free nutrition and training advice to those in the Church that ask for it.

“I hector people who need real solutions about how it’s super easy to work out and eat cheap nutritious food and then pat myself on the back for a job well done.  Wait, isn’t that what you said I did, but I got mad about the way you put it?”

Get back to us when you’re doing shopping trips, meal planning and cooking for the people who ask you for help.  Or when you’re giving them free personal training and spotting on equipment.  Or lending out exercise equipment you’ve moved beyond or aren’t currently using.  Or opening your home for people to come work out in, which is something that happens among men who don’t write screeds about how “Christians are allergic to health, except me!”

Mostly people have real obstacles to getting more physical activity, like working very long hours and/or care of others and living where it’s very difficult to do much physical stuff outside or inside.

Already give work-around advice, such as meal planning (mentioned above), brief workouts, bodyweight training, and motivation.

“I already SAID I HECTOR PEOPLE.  Isn’t that enough woman!”

This is particularly the case with Christians, who are more likely to be caring for little kids or old people, including the men.

Being “busy” is not mutually exclusive from being a good steward of your body. Another false dichotomy.

“Those people are obviously just lying about how hard it is to wrangle kids, get meals together that everyone in the house can eat and still find time to do physical activity for themselves.”  

It actually is very nearly mutually exclusive in a car-based society.  Which again, most Christians are stuck in.  I’m also quite upset by Deep Strength’s dismissal of real labor caring for the bodies of others with his sneering little quote marks.  Way to tell SAHMs how you really feel about their work as women, how valuable and womanly you think it is while promoting the notion that Christian women should want to do it.

Anyway I reblogged this because it’s an increasingly common knife jabbed in the ribcage of Christians by (usually single, childless, responsibility-free) men. I hope to do a bit more of a post later, we’ll see.

You know what responsibilities I do and don’t have… Interesting.
This is your only warning for being deliberately antagonistic and assuming evil of others. The next offense is a ban.

lol, just lol.   I think we’re done here.

 

Perhaps Deep Strength is out there shopping for ten SAHMs per week and doing childcare for their 35 children so they can all go to the gym as a group or something.  Or perhaps he’s organizing group cooking sessions of healthy cheap foods like the Mormons do with their canning centers.  

Somehow, though, I think someone who was concretely pushing against the major obstacles to healthier eating and physical activity would have written a very different post instead of “Christians are allergic to healthy lifestyles”.

But I’m just a housewife who tosses the occasional hay bale when my health permits and whose household typically eats locally produced meats, vegetables and produce, with very little grain consumption (we are a Primal household, to use a consumerist term to describe our overall diet).  And my children are in great physical shape and wear out all the adults around them and all the other children around them as well.  But the adults aren’t at that youthful level of vigor despite eating well and running around with them.  That’s my point, I guess.  We went to a lot of trouble to raise our kids somewhere that they could develop great habits and build a “lifestyle” if you will where being physically active and eating delicious healthy food was “my normal day after I wake up”.  And the costs for us and the many Christian families we know that made similar choices are that we can’t have that life for ourselves because there are things called learning curves, physical impacts of sitting in a car or on public transit for hours per day, and the idea that we’re all allergic to being as robust as our kids is the real evil-assuming.    

 

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About “women delaying marriage”.

Recently the Christian manosphere has decided to blame women for the very high ages for first marriage.  They do this every few months, here’s a roundup of the latest with commentary afterwards.

Shorter Dalrock: Doug Wilson thinks lazy manbabies are keeping sweet Christian women from getting married at 22!  Joke’s on him, there are no Godly Christian women!  Churchian Carousel Bandits are keeping SUPER NICE TOTALLY MATURE AND GREAT CHRISTIAN GUYS WHO TOTALLY ARE MATURE AND STUFF from getting married at 22!  Additional Dalrock supplement to above, same premise.

Shorter Donalgraeme: I’m going to assert that later marriage is all womens’ fault and I assure you I will back it up with data at some unspecified point in the future.  But in the meantime, since most of my commenters agree with me, IT MUST BE TROOOOOOOO.

Shorter Moosenorseman: If women would just act more like dogs (amiriteboyz), there wouldn’t be a marriage crisis!

Anyway, the marriage issue is not solely the fault of naughty women and their hypergamy.  The evangelicals marrying young delay childbearing 5-10 years.  So they nominally marry early but then have kids late just like the people who delay marriage into their late 20s and early 30s.  This masks a lot of the manbaby stuff as well as the carousel issue.  Men are being more immature on average, and also in addition, women behave poorly and are immature and unrealistic as well.  Both pieces are true, not just one side of it.

And because childbearing happens at the same late 20s and early 30s point in time for most births these days, a lot of women figure that there’s no point in marrying young since they couldn’t have the kids right away anyhow.

We’re back to real vs. imaginary status again.  You get nothing marrying young and having kids right away except a lot of hassle and headache from people around you for being foolish with your childrens’ futures.  Marry young but hold off a few years, and suddenly things are fine, you were prepared.   Suddenly you might be worthy of a tuition check or ten from one set of grandparents.

Our kids are going into private school and every single one goes on at length about how you might want to hit up gramma and grandpa for that cash.  But of course, you also can’t have eight kids that way either, maybe not even four or three.

There is a lot of blaming women and parents (by which we mean MOM) for later marriage and childbearing, but basic needs are increasingly impossible to meet for people having kids right now at young ages.  This is why even single mothers overwhelmingly have a kid, not kids plural.

And as I already linked, there are Christians marrying before 25, you just have to admit that this is where the husbands and wives are (for Protestants anyhow). But for some reason, going where the young marriage is happening in America is not something any of these folks want to do….

ETA: commenter “thedeti” is going to spam now (1pm EST), so don’t reply to him if any get through.

Free Northerner misses the point about natalism and status

As is typical for conservative men regarding women and status, the blogger “Free Northerner” hazily realizes that having children is low status for women, but then doesn’t understand that the solution is not television shows promoting wealthy SAHMs.  I love me some Melania Trump as a role model, but her symbolic power as a First Lady would not be natalism, just nice to have.  

From the ridiculous blog post, an example of his cluelessness:

“It’s obvious that women want to work rather than procreate, but this is not because (most*) women particularly like working or because they prefer work to marriage and family. It’s not because housework is drudgery, most women who work do something similar to housework in their jobs.”

This is not true.  Most women who work do not do something similar to housework.  Since he’s just blindly asserting with no sources, I feel quite free to do the same, since it’s much more obvious that most work women do outside the home is not “housework-like”.

(section with feminism red herrings redacted)

Another example of his cluelessness is here:

“You’ve no doubt heard the blatant lie that motherhood is the toughest job in the world? Nobody could honestly believe taking care of a child is tougher than working in a coal mine or as an infantryman in Afghanistan, but everybody spreads that lie because it bolsters the low and declining status of women with children.”

This is not what he thinks it is.  It’s a way of asserting support without having to give support.  Nobody ever follows up this statement with offers to help the stay at home mother.  The statement is supposed to make her feel a sense of accomplishment for getting through the day at all and distract her from realizing that it doesn’t have to be as difficult as it is (which no, isn’t MOST DIFFICULT EVAR) and keep her from noticing she’s being prevented from defining stay at home motherhood as something serious enough to require society-wide support.  It also makes stay at home mothers come across as whining if they have any difficulties at all, since by definition it will never be the hardest job, they are told it must be the EASIEST JOB IN THE WORLD.

He continues to miss the point:

“Having children is low status, but even beyond that status games pervade all of motherhood. The mommy wars aren’t about whether children are better off being raised by their parents or by daycare workers, it’s about who gets good mother status points: stay-at homes or working mothers.”

No, it’s about who gets society-wide support at all.  Short answer: neither.  Longer answer: women who earn money can get some grudging public support since in America earning money is what humans do, and women who have private support but no public status can comfort themselves by downplaying their private support.

(more feminism red herrings redacted)

Anyway once he stops ranting about Jezebel columnists as if they’re average American woman, we come to the point where my blogging and his almost but not quite intersect.

“Having children is lower status than eduction, working, travel, or having status-giving interests. Being a stay-at-home mother is low status compared to being a working mother. Having many children is lower status than having one or two children. Having children young is lower status than having them once infertility hits.

This, more than anything, is why he have such low birth rates.”

This is more or less true.  Doing It All is higher status, relatively speaking, as well.  Travelling with kids, working at home with kids (and no childcare), homeschooling, etc.

Alas, we come to his idea of the solution to low birth rates.

“So, the answer to the fertility crisis is not tax changes, natalism benefits, or motherhood welfare. The way to get women to want to reproduce is to make children the ultimate status symbol.

Read the story of Leah and Rachel in Genesis 29 and 30. Having children was high status, so they did everything they could possibly to produce more children so they could win the status competition against each other.

We need to make it so that instead of the culture lauding whorish celebrities and woman CEO’s, mothers are celebrated. We need news reports to make glowing reports on women having their 6th child, rather than shows idolizing women who adopt foreign children or slutty daring dresses. When Mrs. Duggar has more status than Hillary Clinton, that’s when we will turn this ship around.

Sadly, we don’t control the levers of the culture-industry, so there’s not much we can do for society as a whole, but there are things you can do in your own little circles.

Make a point of praising women who have kids and their mothering skills. If a family is thinking of having another kid, make a positive comment. Praise young men and women you know who are thinking of young marriage, and otherwise encourage young people aroudn you to marry early. Let some disappointment slip out if people say ‘two’s enough for us’. Register some thinly concealed disapproval or contempt if someone says, ‘we don’t want children’. If you can smoothly do backhanded compliments or negs for the self-sterilizing, that would work too. And so on.

You’re working against the combined forces of the media, academy, bureaucracy, and culture, but you might be able to have some influence. Status is mainly an abstraction of a multitude of positive and negative social interactions. If you add to the interactions around you, elevating motherhood and deriding self-sterilization, you might indirectly change a few minds in your local communities. If enough people do it, maybe the trend could be reversed.

One warning, try to keep it subtle enough. Push too hard or too blatantly and you it might backfire if they get defensive or if you look like a jerk. You want to subtly influence their general perception of status, not come off as someone pushing a low status opinion.”

This is stupid because conservatives already do this and their birth rates are not very high at all.  Flapping your lips isn’t going to make the hard work go away.  You can admit that it’s hard to bring up children these days without resorting to false dichotomies about how it’s either ultrahard or supereasy.

It’s also stupid because one of the reasons mothering doesn’t have support is that conservatives, like everyone else WATCH TOO MUCH (@$(@)@)@* TV already.  It’s another way people have retreated from the public sphere as it’s gotten more polarized and combative.

So many people are in sick systems, commuting long distances to have somewhere slightly quiet to bring up a couple of kids, and they come home tired and tv seems like a relaxing thing.  And mom was home all day in the subdivision and blasting Veggie Tales was how she got dinner made at all and the upstairs cleaned.

Natalism is a society-wide project.  You can’t put up natalism rap videos and sit back and watch a hundred thousand five child families bloom.  That doesn’t work, conservatives have their own alternative tv and movies promoting motherhood and housewiving and yet, mysteriously, the birth rate keeps dropping.  Of course, Free Northerner doesn’t appear to know much about the reality on the ground of having three or more children.

Tax changes and motherhood welfare are actually LESS STUPID than his plan of sticking with what already doesn’t work.

As ever, totes open for mashed potato tossing in the comments.  And also discussion.

The Sigma-ficant flaw in Vox Day’s socio-sexual hierarchy

Vox Day’s little socio-sexual hierarchy is not too terribly inaccurate in its portrayal of men.  It skews towards a decent breakdown of nerd guys, I am not sure how far it goes in utility for non-nerd, non-geek guys. But the flaw of his hierarchy is in considering the Sigma its own category.  In Vox Day’s hierarchy, the Sigma stands outside of it, but near the top.  But because he is a fish in water on this matter, he never noticed that Sigma is a quality of the other categories, not its own thing.  Sigma is simply the measure of how weird or unusual a guy is given his natural relative tendency to be in any of the other categories.

Donald Trump is a Sigma-Alpha, weird for an alpha.  Vox Day himself is a Sigma-Beta with some Omega traits.  A lot of nerds in general end up Sigma-Deltas, normal but with super weird hobbies.  There are Sigma-Gammas, a ready to hand example is the PUA or seduction artist.  There are even Sigma-Omegas, low end scary losers who are weird even for that group of men.  Milo Yiannopoulos is a Sigma-Lambda.

The link is in classic nerd fashion a little TL,DR about the categories, but simply put, they go like this:

  • Alpha: Super competitive, very conventional man with lots of success and charisma, generally able to pick and choose from fellow successful conventionally attractive and charismatic women.  Least likely to be “weird”.
  • Beta: Hospitable, affable, much less competitive than the Alphas, so more willing to be considered weird and paper it over with near-Alpha levels of success and charisma.  Usually prefers a conventional woman, but due to that affability totally able to navigate a sophisticated social scene with a weird wife or girlfriend if he feels she’s worth it. Weird themselves about 25% of the time.
  • Delta: The average guy.  Usually not very weird, can eventually find a girl, tends to be scared off by weirdness.  Weird maybe 5-10% of the time.
  • Gamma: A feminine man.  Attracted most to mannish women, followed by male-identified women.  Finds feminine women offputting, the more feminine, the more revolted the Gamma is.  Second least likely to be “weird” for their category.
  • Sigma: contrary to what Vox says, it’s just a tendency of the other categories.  Betas are actually very Sigma-ish compared to all the other groups because weird guys tend to make poor leaders of men but are themselves often loyal and trustworthy.  A lot of Sigmas are just weird Betas and most of what’s left is weird Deltas.
  • Lambda: men who prefer other men.  Weird for their group about as often as Deltas, which generally means a conservative bent or a modest interest in women for romance.

 

 

Why SMV and MMV are stupid.

There is no marketplace for individuals.  There are only other individuals.  SMV is especially stupid because most women can’t attract “men in general” and those that can attract large amounts of public favorable attention are not available to “men in general” in the first place.  MMV is a little less stupid, but only if you have an actual ethnic and/or religious community serving as your pool of options.  If you don’t have that, you’re not in anything resembling an economist’s marketplace.  In a tight-knit community, there can be a market of sorts for marriage, but even then, you don’t have “marriage-minded men in general” if you’re the average woman.  You have a handful of prospects that can be sorted through relatively quickly without frittering up all your baby-having time.

In the world where super nerdy people misuse economic terms, though, it’s really about one-to-one.  You just need one guy or one girl and once you realize that, things get a whole lot easier even in this atomized, deracinated world where people yap about marketplaces and street values or whatever.  One of the ways you know the whole SMV/MMV thing is stupid is that people using it can’t even be coherent in their examples.  A typical example is underwear models or some other looks-trading category of woman having a “high SMV but low MMV”.  If you are desirable enough in charisma and presentation and raw natural good looks to trade on them for a modeling contract, your MMV is whatever the bleep you want it to be.  That’s just reality.  Reality doesn’t have a red-pill bias.  Conversely, women don’t have a “high MMV but a low SMV”, as far as that one goes either.

I need to dig up the anonymous pamphlets Fascinating Womanhood ripped off   was based on.  Because they were written by someone who recognized all the way back in the 1920s or so that things were less community-oriented for women and that the idea of a preselected pool for women to pick a husband from was increasingly not available to average women.  So it was about how to be the best kind of woman you could be to attract That One Guy.  There was a recognition that most women can’t attract men in general, but they can be appealing to a couple now and again.  This is not really a marketplace view of female attractiveness.  But it was the view of a pamphleteer trying to help young women starting to live alone in the big city keep their virtue until they could get married, however long that might be.  Apparently this is not what Fascinating Womanhood is about, which I guess means I should look into it one of these days and find out where the divergence lies.  From what I understand the pamphlets were plenty popular themselves.

I find the whole market-fixation to come from the same ridiculous place as libertarianism and lust for free markets and all that other right-liberal junk so many conservatives are in love with instead of faith, family and country.  It also leads to seriously terrible advice given to women of all ages.

TLDR; LOLOLOL at the idea that SMV and MMV diverge for women or that a woman who can figure out how to command a room’s attention can’t get married (spoiler alert: most do).

 

 

Why widows came to be treated poorly, or, single mommas have always been around.

The modern hyperfocus by some Christian-identifying conservatives on how *widows* should be treated better because they’re not at all like those wicked, awful, hypergamous single mommas is basically the result of broken tradition-passing and a complete inability to understand that the “grass widow” has been with humanity for a very long time.  Women sometimes claimed to be widows when they were not but as the story of the Samaritan woman and Jesus shows, there were plenty who didn’t even use that fig leaf.  The text does not definitively indicate she was widowed five times.

The Bible repeatedly refers to the fatherless, and also widows, but it would not have had the precision understanding it has when it’s used to justify giving nothing but rude words and a closed church door to single mothers and divorced mothers.

Christians, Jews, and Muslims are specifically told not to sexually regulate and speculate on just how the “widow” came to have “fatherless” children.

The fruits of patriarchal regulation are specifically commanded to be shared with the naughty.

I think the strain of disgust and revulsion these types have for single mothers and divorced mothers having any kind of support for their children comes from the individualism that conservatives are so prone to. Since they don’t understand or want to be part of real patriarchal social structures, they can only think about support in the narrow, literal terms of marrying such a woman or paying child support to her.  There is so much more than that in caring for others in your neighborhood and church though, and none of it involves “man up and marry those scandalous dames” at all, not even a lil’ bit.

It’s worth noting none of these guys are beating the bushes to go provide support to those saintly, superior literal widows and orphans, of which there are still plenty around and about.  No, it’s all talk and justification for not doing anything for women you can’t have sex with or don’t want to have sex with.  And as for the women lining up to concur that only the right kind of individual woman is entitled to help with her children, that was a driver of fun stuff like socialism, other women not wanting to deal with the wrong kind of woman.

Single motherhood does have a sort of status in wider society in that single (and to a lesser extent divorced) mothers are more willing to bully or beg people (nearly always other women, which makes the panic over some stray man having to do anything for them even more sadly funny) into helping them with child care so they can work.  And people will give them verbal encouragement.  This is real, I won’t downplay its existence.

But it’s hardly some carefree, easy path.  And contrary to popular belief, a lot of explicit law and social norms work to sharply limit the number of children such women do have.

And related to this, raising children has historically not been so totally expected to be the work of individual parents to individual children at all.  It was much more collective.  Jane Austen’s mother bore seven children, and every last one of them was shipped off to be raised by *gasp* another man and his wife! when they were infants and then brought back to their parents when they were around toddling age.  That particular kind of foster care is but one of the many traditions among Western societies in which raising other people’s children was just part of the social fabric.  Apprenticeships for both boys and girls at ages seven or eight were also one such tradition.  And many of those kids, particularly the boys were quite utterly raised by a man who wasn’t their dad.

Weirdly, all this is mysteriously ignored by people who freak out about a child having strongly masculine, healthy and Godly men in their lives if mom was improvident about how the kid got into the world.  Christ’s love isn’t zero-sum.  You can love the grass widow and the not-grass widow and their children.  This very issue is, incidentally why we have so many of those awful government programs and nonprofits for supporting single mothers’ children.  It was the increasing unwillingness to share with the naughty and take on the burdens.  Some frontier woman turning up at her city sister’s doorstep with five kids might well be a widow, but it was just as likely she “married the wrong man” (as Betty MacDonald put it in a sequel to The Egg and I) and just left and wanted to come home to family.  And fewer and fewer families wanted to deal.

Never-married motherhood is terrible for kids, and the harshness of taking away the children of those women to be raised in other families was an attempt to compensate for that.

A Tale of Two Patriarchs, a Manosphere Patriarch and a Practical Patriarch

Once upon a time in Alaska, there lived two men who felt called by God to go live out in a cabin in the woods with their huge families.  One was a patriarch in the manosphere mold, one was very much not.

The manospherian patriarch called himself Papa Pilgrim.

He married a teenager who was about 20 years younger than he was.

He had 15 children with her.

He required that wife and children all refer to him as “Lord”.

He used “dread”, both metaphorical and literal.  This is, apparently, deemed perfectly Christian and proper for husbands to do by manospherians.

He did not submit to any male authority, religious or otherwise, assuring his family that his authority was ultimate and needed no constraint.

They lived in the woods on hundreds of acres, the children recording music and touring, the entire family developing impressive homesteading and survival skills as well.

As time went on, despite those skills, the family could not make it through the harsh Alaskan winters reliably, so the manospherian patriarch had his family go spend a particularly harsh winter with another very large family (nine children).  I may have left a couple of things out.  Nothing that would be considered bad in the manosphere of course.

As it turns out, the manospherian patriarch ended up in jail because the practical patriarch heading the family of nine felt it was his duty to subject the manosphere patriarch to the rule of law for the manosphere patriarch’s mistreatment of his family.

The practical patriarch also raised self-sufficient children, was openly and clearly the buck-stopping head of his household and lived a simple, back to the land kind of life with his wife and nine children.  Some of those children even married the children of the manosphere patriarch.  But the practical patriarch regularly sought his close to his own age wife’s input and her advice and counsel were a big part of his ultimate decision to bring external authority into the situation.  The manosphere patriarch’s children were astonished that a husband and wife would have private time with each other to reconnect and be close as a couple, they were used to such private time being a sign of their father’s displeasure with their mother.

Their mother did not stand by her man, she stood by her children, who came to forgive her slowly and painfully over time.  The manospherian patriarch died alone in jail, unrepentant.