The Poison Red Pill, Mother-in-law edition

One of the reasons I am no fan of “Red Pill Women” is their blithe disregard for historical social norms around family relationships while claiming to have rediscovered “Red Pill Truths”.

This post is a case in point.  My responses are in bold

A friend of mine lives with her son, daughter in law, and their two kids aged 4 and the younger is 8 months, both boys. They have the average blue pill life going, and while they are frantically trying harder and harder to work the script, it’s just not working.

They both have better than average jobs. They live in a ritzy neighborhood in a brand new house they just built. They drive brand new cars, wear name brand everything, and from all outside appearances they are a success. Living the American dream.

Except it’s really a house of cards. The couple spends every penny they have and then some. They are fortunate to have my friend living there and taking care of the kids, the cooking, and the cleaning in exchange for room and board because if they did not have that, they would be thousands even more underwater a month than they are.

The blogger “Red Pill Girl” (who is in her 40s) is friends with a mother in law (husband’s mother) who is serving as full time live in household help.  This is important.

Despite this they are busy spending, spending, spending anyway. Planning a two week vacation to Hawaii. Buying a boat. Impressing their friends with their latest and greatest aquisitions.

But the cracks are beginning to show. He confessed to his mother that he hates his life, feels trapped, wants to run away to Hawaii and leave it all behind. He’s even hinted at suicidal thoughts, feeling he is in over his head and despite working 60 hours a week, just can’t get ahead.

This is a classic unhealthy dynamic between an adult son and his mother.  This kind of thing isn’t supposed to be for your mother once you’re a married man.  There used to be broad social norms about how this was inappropriate for his mother to dish to her friend “Red Pill Girl” that Red Pill Girl would have been very aware of and nipped in the bud.

His wife shows little interest in her children, leaving the majority of their care to her mother in law. She pops pain pills and laxatives and despite being rail thin worries that she’s fat. She’s constantly going to doctors, insisting something is wrong, but they can’t seem to figure it out. (I wonder if she tells them about the pills? That may be the problem…) She works in a medical office as an assistant, but she says she wants to do something else, from home, but she doesn’t know what or take any steps to make it happen.

We are not told how interested the wife was in having her husband’s mother move in and take a role as a backup wife, but Red Pill Girl is very quick to note the wife’s lack of child caring as a negative, along with presenting her hypochondria in a negative light and not at all connecting it with the fact that the mother in law does everything house-related, making a point to leave absolutely nothing to her son’s wife except fretfulness and discontent.  The wife is in a bind.  If she’s at home too, what’s the utility for mother in law now?  As long as mother in law makes wife feel constantly insecure and desperate for identity via work, she can continue to be the main woman in her son’s life.  Notice that mother in law makes no suggestions or offers support to getting wife into a work at home position.  And mother in law apparently is too busy talking smack about her son’s wife to her friend to include the wife in the running of the household.

Yesterday, a box arrives in the mail from Blue Apron. Despite the fact that my friend is a gourmet cook who makes everything from scratch, even putting entire meals together ready to just put in the oven and bake, the daughter-in-law decides what they really “need” to make life worth is this dinner in a box that all her friends are doing.

I suppose it’s convenient, it all comes packed together, just what you need, ready to assemble into a “home cooked” meal. But that convenience is expensive, about $40 a day and she’s signed up to get 6 dinners a week. The amount of packaging is another issue, there is an incredible amount of waste associated with keeping all the fresh ingredients cold and protected in transit. All that — trash.

Gee, the wife desperately flails at something she can do for her family that mother in law can’t and isn’t familiar with and she still gets sneered at for doing “what her friends are doing”…by her mother in law’s friend.  Hm.  Interesting.  Also note the complaints about expense when both parents work outside the home and don’t have free time, just income and credit access.  And a mother in law very set on maintaining her role as the household manager and lady of the house instead of the actual lady of the house.

I would predict this couple will soon crash head first into some serious financial problems, and their marriage likely will not survive. Another broken family, thanks to the blue pill. I hope not but all signs say they are hell bent on barreling down this path right toward their doom. Sad.

My friend advised her son, “Finish the landscaping around the house and then SELL IT. Get out from under all this mess and live a simpler life and be happy.”

I hope he listens….

The reason I picked this tale of a dishy, manipulative mother in law to discuss the problems with Red Pill thinking is that this entire post is presented to us by the mother in law’s friend as *#(%@)%)% “Blue Pill Problems”.  What colored pills have to do with your mother in law moving in and taking over your house is apparently not on the radar of this Red Pill Woman.  That is, this has very little to do with sexual dynamics of the normal sort.  And in times past, let’s call them Blue Pill days of yore, what this mother in law was doing to undermine the household and marriage would be considered socially unacceptable and she would be judged poorly for it by other women, not lauded as some kind of saint.  

What’s going on here is well known as a mother-in-law problem and there are several different approaches by culture for dealing with pushy and domineering mother in laws, but when one is blinded by the poison of Red Pill thinking, it’s impossible to see the actual problems that family has (as presented in this post from a third party) and instead it all becomes about how the husband is too beta and the wife just isn’t submitting enough.  Which is not quite what the problem is there.  

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If the Christian manosphere wants wives, they should be nicer to middle aged married women

Despite the generally hilarious claims of the manosphere’s Christian rump to be interested in traditional sex roles and traditional understandings of marriage and authority, they ignore the obvious traditions when those traditions mean some woman somewhere might have actual social status and a respected position in her community beyond being a wife or a mother.  They write endless screeds on marriage readiness as a sort of role playing game where it’s just a matter of hitting some benchmarks with “the current girl” enough times and you’ll get to the final boss fight (wedding ceremony) of Marriage: The Quest for a Purest of Pure Godly Submissive But Also Hardbodied Wife.  Or they write about finding a wife as though it’s about sifting through character traits like a basket of costumes, wearing only the ones “women care about the most”.

Left out of all this, of course, is going to the conservative Christian women who are most likely to be swimming in under 25, chaste, often Christian young women who want to marry and be housewives.  That is middle aged women in their 30s and 40s.  Older such women usually have all the kids out of the house and are mostly around career types or caring for their relatives’ kids.  Younger such women are swimming in very young kids of their own or working.  But women in their 30s and 40s usually have at minimum stuff like the teachers and administrators of their childrens’ activities and school (yes, even homeschooling women) or their own teenagers/young 20somethings heading into marriageable age range.  Some also have the (usually young) women who help out around the house and/or younger female relatives who really like children enough to buck social norms and hang out with them a lot.

Middle aged married women used to serve as a bridge between young single men and young single women, gently and sometimes not so gently guiding compatible personalities towards each other even in ye olde times when marriage was supposedly never about romantic attachment, just babies and property.  And yet, those women are no longer treated as valuable assets in the quest for a wife by young Christian men.  The Christian manosphere is just jerky and disrespectful about it rather than oblivious.  As a result, even though many middle aged married women are still able to have acquaintance with young marriageable women, they don’t get any opportunities to revive the old traditions of guiding and matchmaking compatible young people towards a clear marriage path (no long engagements, as one example).

In a legitimately Christian patriarchal social structure, married women have real social power as a result of being married women.  This is something the Christian manosphere doesn’t get about the realities of Christian patriarchy.  Non-Christian patriarchy can be this way, but needless to say, women have more freedom in Christ and that extends to their roles in a patriarchal system too.  One of the ways you can tell the manosphere talk about restoring traditional sex roles is not “sex realism” is that they don’t believe that the state of being married confers real status on a woman.  They believe the status conferred is just stuff in her silly female brain, that the only real status accrues to men.  This is a lot of things, but it’s not very traditional for Western Christian societies.

Even in our deracinated, atomized society, middle aged married women are the ones who are around the kind of teenaged and 20something young women who still want marriage and babies and staying home with them more than any other group of people and therefore the fact that nobody knocks on middle aged married womens’ doors offering to help them throw parties and social events to bring together young singles in a neutral but emotionally complex setting that allow for getting to know someone’s personality and attitude (they don’t) is part of why the Christian marriage situation is so dire for men and women alike.