Friday, July 29, 2016

Game and the Christian Male

I see a lot of criticisms of the whole Game attitude by Christians, who at times seem to have a lot of valid concerns. It encourages male slutdom, etc.

What tends to put me off is seeing those same critics describe what the ideal relationship between men and women should be, which typically seems to be just-as-powerfully criticized by Game's proponents.

Dalrock covers a lot of the warped views of people who tend to absolutely despise the whole Game thing. As for me, I tend to view it more favorably, but with a load of caveats. Insofar as the culture encourages men to have self-respect and confidence, it seems valuable. And I mean a sincere kind of self-respect and confidence, not that crazy bullshit where someone says that the -real- confident guy is the one who's petrified of offending women, and Wil 'just look at this jackass' Wheaton is considered the essence of masculinity.

77 comments:

JBsptfn said...

On Tim Challies' blog a year or two ago, he did a review of the book I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris.

On that review, I said that I read the foreword by Christian singer Rebecca St. James. She basically said that she wanted to date, but she noticed that her friends that did seemed to be emotionally hurt or something, so she backed off of that somewhat.

Then, I said something about how Rebecca's friends may not have been having any fun because they were focusing too hard on outcomes (probably marriage).

In reply, someone said that they wouldn't want me anywhere near their daughter, and that she isn't for fun.

So, I told them that I have had some Christian guy friends that have been hurt by women because they were too nice (one of them has now had both of his wives walk out on him). I also said something about how I would rather read PUA material than anything Joshua Harris wrote.

In a church in my town, my co-worker and friend (one of the guys I talked about above) said back in the early-00's that Joshua's book was used in their Sunday School classes, and he said that the girls in the class were saying that they were "Dating God". That sounds almost cultish to me.

Crude said...

I don't know too much of these things, even these names. Joshua Harris? News to me. Most of what I see of this culture comes from Dalrock, though I've bumped into permutations of the general kind of thinking he focuses on.

What's Harris write that you dislike? In terms of advice, etc.

JBsptfn said...

I only read the foreword of that book, but from encountering it somewhat in the late-90's, the impression that I got of IKDG was that it encouraged legalistic behavior (only doing things in groups, no touching, etc...) that seems to foster uptightness more than confidence.





The Practical Conservative said...

Joshua Harris is married with kids now and repudiated the whole courtship thing as artificial and ridiculous. He also admitted to having been sexually abused and thus not really able to start from a more natural, healthy place regarding sexual desire and marriage-orientation.

Wil Wheaton is barely a celebrity by any standard, I don't know that anyone could make a serious case that he's some big deal among Christians.

That said, some people who promote game are henpecked husbands or sons whose wives or mothers wear the britches and who promote game because it's a nice fantasy world for them I guess before they have to return to reality. And others are divorced guys or unmarried skittish types.

I despise game because I've seen altogether too many married young Christian women having to work full time, do all household everything, do all kid-related everything and their Christian husbands watch hours of porn and don't get jobs at all and they sure aren't being yelled at by pastors. And that's something I see much more often than cruelly henpecked men whose wives have the pastor backing them. Game, from my vantage has led to some of those aforementioned porn using husbands abandoning their wives and children to lead PUA lifestyles and others to have affairs Josh Duggar style.

Crude said...

My view wasn't that Wheaton is a Christian, but he's a very prominent male in some aspect of internet subculture.

That said, some people who promote game are henpecked husbands or sons whose wives or mothers wear the britches and who promote game because it's a nice fantasy world for them I guess before they have to return to reality. And others are divorced guys or unmarried skittish types.

Sure, but then again there's no lack of fantasy worlds going around. I've seen guys using the Game advice and changing their lives for the better, in some cases. In other cases, 'for the different'. I will admit I have yet to see an adamantly anti-game, prominent figure who wasn't putting off the 'creep' vibes like no tomorrow.

I despise game because I've seen altogether too many married young Christian women having to work full time, do all household everything, do all kid-related everything and their Christian husbands watch hours of porn and don't get jobs at all and they sure aren't being yelled at by pastors.

Different experience than myself, then. And I have to say, that goes against the stats. 90% divorce rate, initiated by women. People getting married at older and older ages. And of course men are typically the breadwinners even now when it comes to married households.

I'd go so far as to wonder, who the heck are these pastors who are saying 'Watching porn is fine. So is not working. And if you're not working and your wife works, let her take care of the kids too.'?

One thing Dalrock does - not exactly pro-game, I recall - is show exactly what many of these pastors are saying. I don't doubt that there are shitty men out there. However, there's also absolutely no lack of shitty women by any standard. Single motherhood rates are absolutely skyrocketing, and I've got to tell you, the blame usually gets laid on the men there. Especially by feminists, who then turn around and insist that nevertheless a woman is the only person who can decide whether abortion is right for her.

I think it's demonstrable and obvious that we live in a culture which celebrates, reinforces and sanctifies practically all female decisions regarding divorce, sex and abortion overall, and has a very different standard for men - one entirely contrary to traditional Christian morality, and to reasonable standards besides.

malcolmthecynic said...

The problem with game is that people want to "baptize" it by removing it from its origins as a way for pick-up artists to bang sluts.

But that's what game was designed for, and who game was designed by. Game gets some stuff correct, but ultimately Christian males learning game are the equivalent of females learning how to get husbands by getting advice from prostitutes. "There's no better alternative!!!!" isn't a good excuse.

Crude said...

Malcolm,

It depends on what you mean by 'learning game'. The best comparison I can think of is programming. If you tell me that the only person who'd ever be interested in hacking is a crook - or that the only reason anyone in IT/security programming would talk to a criminal hacker is to also be a crook - then I think that's plainly wrong.

To use another comparison: art. How many people have written books with absolutely shitty morals that you dislike, but who you nevertheless could learn technique from?

Crude said...

I will add, I'm not a big defender of Game proponents as good Christians or something. But I'm concerned with the morale, outlook and self-image of men in this world, as it seems like there's wall to wall discouragement on that front.

JBsptfn said...

Joshua Harris is married with kids now and repudiated the whole courtship thing as artificial and ridiculous. He also admitted to having been sexually abused and thus not really able to start from a more natural, healthy place regarding sexual desire and marriage-orientation.

Really? I didn't know that. That's ashame, especially for the people who followed his advice religiously.

Game gets some stuff correct, but ultimately Christian males learning game are the equivalent of females learning how to get husbands by getting advice from prostitutes. "There's no better alternative!!!!" isn't a good excuse.

Not quite. Yes, people that promote game are promiscuous to varying degrees. However, in the material that I have read or heard of, it isn't encouraging promiscuity, but to be better socially with women. You sure as heck aren't going to learn that in a lot of churches, where uptightness and legalism seems to rule in topics such as this.

malcolmthecynic said...

Crude,

Well, in that case you need to define game, not me (not to sound too rude about it). My contention is the easiest to defend - game was created by pick-up artists in order to bed sluts. The purpose of game is to bed sluts - that's why it was made.


If you tell me that the only person who'd ever be interested in hacking is a crook - or that the only reason anyone in IT/security programming would talk to a criminal hacker is to also be a crook - then I think that's plainly wrong.

You talk to criminal hackers to 1) Prevent criminal hacking, or 2) To hack into the computers of bad guys. If you want to learn game to prevent game from being used on you, by all means, but I don't think that's what you mean.

How many people have written books with absolutely shitty morals that you dislike, but who you nevertheless could learn technique from?

What you're saying here is that in the system created to bed sluts, we should pick out everything that doesn't have anything to do with actually bedding sluts. It all stems from a very modern tendency to, to coin a word, "over-definition" everything: We can't just learn how to be more masculine, attract more women, or be more self-confident, we need to learn GAME.

But wait, wasn't game created by pick-up artists to bed sluts? Oh, well, if you take this, this, and THIS out of game...

Why are we calling it game again? Because we really admire bad boy Roissy?

Being an introverted, shy guy with trouble talking to people and women especially myself, I have nothing but sympathy - empathy, in fact - for men with similar issues. I don't reject game because I want to. I reject it because it should be rejected by those who want to live a moral life.

And, you need to be careful too. There's what you might call an "alt-right" Overton Window. I have talked with, share an anthology with, appeared on a radio show with, and am published by Vox Day. It is actually MORE controversial for me to criticize game considering my circumstances, not less. I'm not taking the easy way out, I am, at least in a partial, limited way, making myself somewhat of a pariah.

malcolmthecynic said...

However, in the material that I have read or heard of, it isn't encouraging promiscuity, but to be better socially with women.

You read something in the 16 commandments of poon I haven't.

Of course it's learning how to be more confident around women. You need to be confident to seduce them into sleeping with you.

Actually, your "not quite" agrees with me. You're just saying, "Hey, those prostitutes give REALLY GOOD advice, okay?"

Game is the male equivalent of slutty behavior.

malcolmthecynic said...

(In other words - as tends to happen with me, I fall on the side of an issue conservatives are "supposed" to fall on but for reasons many conservatives would utterly reject, meaning, I don't think it's all men's fault. Such is life.)

The Practical Conservative said...

Crude, I'm actually working on some material for publishing about demographics for conservative Christians and you're totally wrong about the statistics. There is no 90% divorce rate and the unwed motherhood rate is decreasing, not increasing. Higher median age of marriage is happening, but among Christians, they still have a lower median age of marriage and lower divorce rate. And single digit divorce is the case for married women having more than two children.

Men are breadwinners, but they earn significantly less money and of course there's way more double-earning couples in general.

The Practical Conservative said...

While I was being womanly, malcolm posted. I think it's really simple. I see men who get married having a much freer hand than the manosphere claims, as far as the younger set goes. They are so prized as "young men who MARRIED" that they can do whatever because, hey, they're married, including adopt the manipulations of game. So I don't see the incels or the guys having huge trouble even talking to women because even the single Christian guys I know can do that much. They mostly do marry, sometimes later than they'd like, but it does happen.

As for game itself, realtalk. I read a ton of old books and "lift big and don't let yourself get caught up in her emotional freakouts" is already in those old books. You don't need game at all, the non-PUA useful bits have already been written down by male and female authors alike in pre-1960s fiction and film. So I despise the idea that it's some kind of necessary thing for flailing men. There's better resources for them and connecting them with that is way more profitable than bothering with game, which was explicitly derived from what pimps do to retain their prostitutes.

Crude said...

PC,

There is no 90% divorce rate and the unwed motherhood rate is decreasing,

It's still sky freaking high, and not a 90% divorce rate, but 90% of the divorces are initiated by women.

The Practical Conservative said...

It's not sky high, it's about a quarter or so with first marriages (which is still bad) and about a third overall, the predicted 50% didn't materialize, and woman have always initiated about 2/3rds of divorces, even according to dalrock.

I do not at all think divorce is no big deal, but it is definitely not sky high, and it is particularly not so when you are talking about people who attend church more than once a month and have kids together.

Crude said...

PC,

What I'm saying is sky high is single motherhood.

As for 'women have always initiated 2/3rds of divorces', that doesn't speak well about the situation.

The Practical Conservative said...

Sorry, I did misread that. But single motherhood is reversing in terms of the overall trend. Not as fast as we'd all like, but it is going in the right direction.

Crude said...

PC,

It may well be. I also suspect that if it is it's for reasons depressingly similar to why it's not an issue in Japan. It's not because of some rediscovery of even a portion of traditional morality, but because we're beginning a new stage of warped decline. At this point, the Japanese -wish- they had a major single mother problem.

JBsptfn said...

I reject it because it should be rejected by those who want to live a moral life.

Malcolm, with this statement, you are saying that anyone who wants to learn game to have sex out of wedlock is immoral, correct? If that's what you're saying, that's not always true.

People can have sex out of wedlock in love and respect for the other partner. It's just that society has poisoned sex to the point where people don't do that. We are trained to think that sex out of wedlock=immorality.

Mike said...

What you're saying here is that in the system created to bed sluts, we should pick out everything that doesn't have anything to do with actually bedding sluts. It all stems from a very modern tendency to, to coin a word, "over-definition" everything: We can't just learn how to be more masculine, attract more women, or be more self-confident, we need to learn GAME.


And this is where the metaphysical baggage claims come off as nonsense to me. Sluts are simply women with low impulse control, among other issues. However, the purpose of game is to become more attractive, often (but not always) to take advantage of those low impulse controls.

Acting like game is only useful on sluts or is inextricably bound to them all but presumes that what sluts find attractive in men is completely different from women as a category tend to find attractive.

Mike said...

I despise game because I've seen altogether too many married young Christian women having to work full time, do all household everything, do all kid-related everything and their Christian husbands watch hours of porn and don't get jobs at all and they sure aren't being yelled at by pastors

So it's the man's fault that a women falls in love with a low to no ambition man with no sense of responsibility? You might as well say that you "despise game" because it makes a solid argument for arranged marriages.

Most hen-pecked men are the opposite of what you described there. They're the boring, responsible types. You have no business blaming them if they start looking for ways to become more attractive to their wives and women in general. A woman who hen-pecks a good husband has only herself to blame if he wakes up from that and turns her life upside down by putting at least the dread of an affair into her life if not kicking her to the curb.

Why? Because at the end of the day, hen-pecking your husband is a form of abuse. In any rational society, the hen-pecking wife would be considered right up there with most psychologically abusive husbands as an emotional terrorizer of her family.

Mike said...

malcolm,

You talk to criminal hackers to 1) Prevent criminal hacking, or 2) To hack into the computers of bad guys. If you want to learn game to prevent game from being used on you, by all means, but I don't think that's what you mean.


You actually just defended game with that argument. Your second point is actually the sort of offensive hacking used by the NSA against foreign actors and the legitimate business of penetration testing. Both groups literally use the same tactics, even for the same reasons, as the criminal element and foreign intelligence services, but to do good with them.

Crude said...

Malcolm,

You talk to criminal hackers to 1) Prevent criminal hacking, or 2) To hack into the computers of bad guys. If you want to learn game to prevent game from being used on you, by all means, but I don't think that's what you mean.

Mike's already gotten around to my reply here. They do in fact use many of the same tactics and methods, they just use them in different contexts.

What you're saying here is that in the system created to bed sluts, we should pick out everything that doesn't have anything to do with actually bedding sluts.

You keep talking about using a system, but Game is only partly about actions. It's also about, supposedly, knowledge - knowledge of how men and women think and act. Again, back to the hacking example: hackers engage in a lot of bad activity, but they engage in it with a lot of knowledge which is valuable, and even tactics which in other contexts are quite fine.

Let me put it to you this way. I understand that the whole concept of sociosexual hierarchy largely comes from Game. Okay: should we just reject this whole concept (even if it's largely or partly true) because it was created by pickup artists?

Crude said...

For the record, I'm not too invested in defending 'game', and certainly not Roissy - I think of him as an interesting figure who makes some serious mistakes. I'm not about to defend pickup culture either. I have sympathy for the same guys you do, and for what I see as a culture which is terrified of criticizing women for any romantic or sexual choices, no matter how horrible the results or actions are.

Mike said...

Malcolm,

When we first got into the discussion about game, I raised a challenge to the "essential nature" of it that has still not been successfully rebutted. That is, by deliberately defining game as essentially what Roissy teaches, you are being intellectually lazy for the sake of completing a worldview. I compared game to martial arts and said that if that argument were valid (the one about Roissy) then one would have to conclude that only strike-based fighting systems are martial arts. If there is no room for, say, Athol Kay, then by that logic Aikido and Jiu Jitsu are not martial arts.

Obviously, they are martial arts because they are fighting systems. It's just that they are radically different in a significant percentage of their essential qualities from strike-based ones. You also have the fact the some martial arts are also even philosophically more violent than others. To my knowledge, Ninjitsu and Krav Maga tend to be far more so than, say, Tae Kwon Do or especially Tai Chi or Aikido.

Wood said...

I'm an idiot and apologize if I double posted this:

Crude,

It is interesting to me how fired up people get over the issue of Game. Sort of like how fired up people get in discussions regarding how to discipline children during Mass. To have an opinion is likely to be interpreted by those of the contrary opinion as to be wrong on some fundamental, civilization-shaking way. Anyway, not wishing to shake civilization here, but I don't understand the fascination with Game. From my limited reading of it, Game seems unnecessary and dangerous.  Maybe it's fine for the let's-reinvent-the-wheel Protestant crowd who seem to rather enjoy reinventing the wheel.  But for Catholics?  One doesn't have to wade too deeply into the Game blogosphere to be presented with near occasions of sin, and - admittedly a minority opinion - I don't understand why Game folks can't make a point without gratuitous vulgarity.  And for the men who feel compelled to sort out how to handle modern women and men from such sites, I don't see how they are the type of men to be trusted with making nuanced distinctions of the good from the damnable.  Meaning it's not so much about how well Game "works," but rather the very real dangers to the souls of the men who go to these sites for advice.  I have no issue with contemporary men and women dealing with contemporary problems, but I'm extremely skeptical of moderns thinking they have discovered some clever way of handling problems seemingly never addressed before.  Has our millenia old Faith never addressed how a Catholic man should handle unruly women and jerk men?  Given us no help in finding a virtuous wife and virtuous male friendship?  A Catholic man utilizing Game seems, at best, lazy. 

Mike said...

I have sympathy for the same guys you do, and for what I see as a culture which is terrified of criticizing women for any romantic or sexual choices, no matter how horrible the results or actions are.

The way I see it is that game has nothing to do with morality in most cases. The number of ways you can sexually sin while being completely incompetent with women are just as many, if not more, than if you have options. One thing you don't see in PUA circles is any real tolerance of "I was too lazy to develop myself, so I sat around watching porn." Such people tend to be more blunt and brutal than orthodox Christians on what sort of loser you are for choosing the route opposite of self-growth.

Crude said...

Wood,

I agree with your concerns. All of them! Game is, no shit, loaded with people who give a rather polluted view of the world and sex. I'd be a fool to deny it.

The problem is that I don't see any practical alternatives. Whenever I look into 'Christian advice for the dating male' my conclusion is, 'welp, this bilge is worse than what Game's offering up'. I mean that: it is worse, and it makes a worse Christian. Dalrock covers some of what's on offer out there.

Which, from my personal perspective, puts me in a tough position. What do I do when all of the extant advice seems bad, but at least one of the bits of advice seems A) At least less bad than the others, and B) Its' pitfalls are at least readily identifiable? It's pretty easy to tell you not how to abuse Game as a Christian: 'Okay, yeah, don't go fuck a ton of girls or manipulate them for negative ends'.

If I eliminate the negative aspects of most of the alternatives there's pretty much nothing left over.

Mike said...

Wood,

What methods are you referring to for controlling an unruly wife? Because you should bear in mind that parents and husbands have virtually no legal authority to actually impose real punishment on those under their authority. Even 100 years ago, a husband could take away an unruly wife's access to familial funds. Now, she can divorce him with that cited as cause and not only take that money, but much of his paycheck.

Remember that woman who made headlines in Baltimore during the rioting for smacking the crap out of her kid when she caught him about to throw a brick at a cop? Even she was not legally in the clear to do that!

malcolmthecynic said...

Mike,

I saw the whole discussion. The problem was, you kept saying "Game is like martial arts, its seperate from Roissy"...except that Roissy is the godfather of game, came up with the 16 commandments of poon, his call has been taken up by other pick-up artists...

It doesn't work. If you're only picking out the things you like from game, it's not game. You're once again trying to "over-definition" everything.

Game isn't "Everything but the bad parts". You can't separate from its creation, how its used, its culture. Game is game. Techniques to gain self-confidence and talk to women are not.

Mike said...

Wood,

FWIW, Crude's comment about sums up my impression of the game community and Christian reactions to it. Most Christian dating advice is itself a pipeline toward gamma or omega status in the name of Jesus, with all of the attendant ills of being a dreg of masculinity.

malcolmthecynic said...

My problem with the hacking thing is - bluntly - I have no idea what you're parallel is with "good guys using hacking to hack into the computers of bad guys" and "using game".

Let me put it to you this way. I understand that the whole concept of sociosexual hierarchy largely comes from Game. Okay: should we just reject this whole concept (even if it's largely or partly true) because it was created by pickup artists?

You're missing my point. There's no denying many pick-up artists and game theorists also hit upon a lot of truths we can learn, it's that those truths and "Game" aren't the same thing. As has been pointed out, that pick-up artists have suddenly come up with this brand spanking new modern system that the majority of human history never needed or hit upon is something I'm not convinced of.

malcolmthecynic said...

Malcolm, with this statement, you are saying that anyone who wants to learn game to have sex out of wedlock is immoral, correct? If that's what you're saying, that's not always true.

Crude, at least, would agree with me that this is the best argument for my "side", such as it is, yet made.

I consider fornication a mortal sin that puts your soul in grave danger of Hell.

malcolmthecynic said...

Crude,

As has more and more been the tendency with me lately, I will recommend Zippy's posts on the subject.

Crude said...

Malcolm,

I'll have a look, but there's one concern I have with Zippy: he is able to point out the problems with a given outlook or a philosophy extremely well. But when time comes to ask, 'Okay, all these things are horrible. What's the solution?', I don't think he has a reply. I haven't interacted with him much at all, but last time - I really do think he basically told me that the solution was (for that conversation) 'Reject liberalism and repent'.

Guy X is insecure, in a rotten culture that degrades him. His self-confidence sucks. He's fumbling with women. He asks for advice. 'Reject liberalism and repent!'

Okay. If that's the only lifeline you're giving him, how harshly can I condemn him when he decides, alright, time to look elsewhere for guidance?

That's why I say my sympathy for Game ultimately comes down to 'It is the least bad of every tangible extant option.' Give me a superior option and I will recommend it, and I will spend my time talking about the flaws and failures of Game, and why the alternative is better. Lacking that, I'm forced to say, 'Here's your best option. Here are its pitfalls. Try to avoid those.'

I find the alternative - just point out the flaws of every option, condemn each option, but give no realistic path in another direction - to be a bit cruel. At least when there is, in principle, some path to improvement.

malcolmthecynic said...

Crude,

Well, I'm not saying that we need to yell "YOU'RE ALL GOING TO HELL!!!!!" at these men. I'm Tom Hanks in "Saving Private Ryan" yelling that we need to be "ANYWHERE BUT HERE!"

Obviously, that's a little much, in the sense of not ANYWHERE; you don't run into the gunfire. But not having an immediate alternative isn't a particularly good excuse. But you're right that we certainly shouldn't be calling these men the spawn of the devil who go flock to guys like Roissy. It's understandable. It's also wrong.

malcolmthecynic said...

This also would be more convincing if the Bible was silent on relationships between men and women. But it isn't.

Crude said...

Okay, but from my perspective - and really, correct me if I'm wrong here - this just seems like we're ending at, 'Roissy is wrong, Game is wrong. ... Okay, seeya.'

You say 'anywhere but here'. Okay: how about over THERE, where the Christian advice to men is that if their wives are acting terrible, then clearly that's just her little way of pointing out some flaw the man obviously must have and he has to address it? How about over THERE, where Christian relationship advice is dispensed through the prism of modern feminism which says that if a woman feels that the man has any power whatsoever that she doesn't that it's abusive?

That's why I say, I have a more positive opinion of game because literally every available alternative that's within reach of most people seems worse. If the choice is between 'Well you have Game, you'll be more confident, you'll have self-respect, but you'll also be a lot more cynical and maybe sexually immoral' and 'Here you have Reverend Clarence Criesalot and his co-author wife who is the light of his life, the jewel of his existence without whom he is nothing (and whose opinion of Clarence is he's 'caring' and that's it), and he's here to tell you how your wife is an angel sent by God to keep you on the true path, which you know you deviate from if she's upset', then yes, okay, lacking alternatives I'm advising someone to go to Roissy.

I mean, I've seen some crazy stuff out of those alternatives. Like, 'My wife started smashing and destroying dishes in an argument with me until finally I gave in, then she smirkingly revealed that the dishes she broke were part of an incomplete/chipped set so she really didn't destroy anything of value, she is so wise'. When that's the orientation of the advice, then holy crap, no thank you. Anywhere but THERE.

malcolmthecynic said...

Crude,

If something is immoral - bluntly - whether or not there are alternatives doesn't matter. That is my concern here. Not if there are better options, but if this is one we should be using.

It's not.

If you want to talk better options, well, I love "The Art of Manliness", for one. But even if that wasn't there, it doesn't matter. Game is wrong.

Nobody is saying all of that other stuff is better. That's wrong too. It doesn't make game right.

Here is a question: For the first 2,000 years of Church history, how did people manage to get by?

malcolmthecynic said...

The whole "It feels cruel and immoral to point men to Roissy" feels dangerously close to the old canard of "It feels cruel and immoral to tell women not to vacuum out their babies and snip their spines".

Of course one is legions worse than the other, but the logic is the same: Even IF there were no other alternative but "Be miserable", you can never tell people it's okay to learn from and do the immoral. Never.

Crude said...

Malcolm,

If something is immoral - bluntly - whether or not there are alternatives doesn't matter.

I agree. Where I'm stuck is that paying attention to the advice of game isn't immoral itself as near as I can tell. Or maybe it is! I can see it being immoral to corrupt oneself in such a way.

Here is a question: For the first 2,000 years of Church history, how did people manage to get by?

By living in the context of cultures which typically were expressly oriented towards certain relationships complete with sociosexual expectations on the part of both men and women, and ultimately with an emphasis on family and children. You didn't need Game because you had a stable culture with a framework that - flawed though IT may have been - gave everyone a set of rules to live by, and there was a price for deviating heavily from those rules.

And by rules I don't mean 'they gently advised you to do this or that', I mean 'adultery was a crime'.

Those contexts are either gone or have been weakened considerably.

Crude said...

Of course one is legions worse than the other, but the logic is the same: Even IF there were no other alternative but "Be miserable", you can never tell people it's okay to learn from and do the immoral. Never.

I agree, and I never would. But I'm not sure 'reading up on game' is 'doing the immoral'.

Let me ask: do you think learning about the sociosexual hierarchy is immoral? The traits, the attitudes, etc? Section that off away from everything else the Game advocates say: is THAT immoral?

malcolmthecynic said...

The sociosexual hierarchy chart, from my understanding, isn't actually a part of game, though.

Crude said...

We may be engaged in crosstalk here.

When I say "Game" I'm talking about even, say, this. Do you consider this Game? Or is that specific to Roissy?

malcolmthecynic said...

I don't think it's specific to Roissy, but I also don't see that as part of game in any meaningful sense of the word.

JBsptfn said...

If something is immoral - bluntly - whether or not there are alternatives doesn't matter. That is my concern here. Not if there are better options, but if this is one we should be using.

Again, you are using the immoral word. Now, yes, there are some immoral PUA teachers. However, as I said before, pre or non-marital sex isn't always immoral.

Mike said...

Malcolm,

I saw the whole discussion. The problem was, you kept saying "Game is like martial arts, its seperate from Roissy"...except that Roissy is the godfather of game, came up with the 16 commandments of poon, his call has been taken up by other pick-up artists...


Actually he's not. There is a "seduction culture" going back to at least the 1970s and Mystery was at least concurrent with Roissy if not predating him. Even if Roissy were something other than a popular promulgator of the ideas, it would not logically follow at all that people couldn't come along and create their own very different takes on it. Indeed, that is another one of the major problem with Zippy's arguments on game's "essential nature." The observable fact is that it has moved on from Zippy's definition and even Roissy is now very open to citing or referencing others like Vox Day and Athol Kay who vehemently disagree with him on some things.

Mike said...

My problem with the hacking thing is - bluntly - I have no idea what you're parallel is with "good guys using hacking to hack into the computers of bad guys" and "using game".


The things that a PUA artist does to attract a slut typically work at least in degrees on non-sluts. So a very large percentage of actual tactics to attract a woman are simply morally neutral, it's their context that matters. So the parallel there is that the NSA quite literally uses the same tactics as the black hats that try to rob you blind, they just don't use them for the same purpose.

In fact a lot of the conservative response to the attraction aspects of game remind me of the vapors a lot of conservatives got over the Alt-Right nerve gas comments on Vox Day's blog. As I said in response to one of Zippy's commenters, how is using nerve gas on enemy troops intrinsically immoral? It is no worse than annihilating them with the payload of a B52 or an artillery barrage.

Like a lot of things, it's "not nice" I guess.

malcolmthecynic said...

JB,

Yes, pre-marital sex is always gravely immoral. Without exception. In every case. If two people have the most loving, respectful, cordial, to-all-experiences-godly relationship ever it is still gravely immoral. Do not pass Go. Do not collect 200 dollars.

This is a fundamental difference in worldview I'm afraid I can't compromise on. It's not an "up for negotiation" point.

Crude, being a Catholic, no doubt would agree, though you'd have to ask him specifically, I suppose.

malcolmthecynic said...

Okay. Techniques to make yourself more self-confident and attractive to women are not game. Words mean things; you can't pick and choose what you want them to mean. What is exactly at question is whether or not game is analogous in any way to hacking; I find the analogy strained at best.

The Practical Conservative said...

Wow, you all had a party. It's pretty simple. If you can't read old books to get useful advice, then you are in fact being lazy. There is other material and perfectly decent approaches to dealing with women in life and courtship/dating and marriage in old books without needing to worry about game at all or terrible Christian self-help stuff either.

And the child support data doesn't really match up as well as the manosphere meme that women have the whip hand. They can get custody if they break up the marriage, but they mostly don't get the money out of him and men getting custody get paid more by the child-support paying mother. And as for divorce overall, women with 3 or more children do it the least, which also doesn't match with this idea that the wife has a whip hand. What I see among the Christian marriages we're around IRL is the man has the whip hand for good or for ill. If any of us women wanted to break up our marriages, we'd get nothing. No support from our community or churches, no child support and probably lose custody of the kids too, whether we SAHMd or not.

And that's typical for Christians in Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox communities around us. I think some people mistake the kind of material Christians deep in having a lot of kids (about a third of women have three or more children lifetime, nearly all of them in wedlock, especially on the white side) are reading w/r/t to marriage. They aren't really reading or paying attention to much of what Dalrock highlights. That's older couples with grown kids paying attention to that stuff, IME.

I can assure you that women's choices are open to any amount of criticism all day erry day once you leave the bubble of the internet and celebrity culture. The internet-notorious frivolous divorcer Jenny Erickson's church kicked her out, and that response is way more typical than the church falling over itself to support her frivolous divorce.

Divorce after 5 or 10 years with no kids is fairly common and is the majority of divorces. Most of what's left involves one kid or two kids, usually older than school age. Divorced women genuinely don't get much out of it and that is why they are loud about it online.

malcolmthecynic said...

TPC,

All I can say is that your experience is so atypical from everything I've personally seen, heard, and pretty much every statistic I've read that I'm honestly at a loss as to how to respond except to say "Well, maybe in your experience".

Mike said...

What I see among the Christian marriages we're around IRL

And in the culture as a whole, trinitarian Christians rather than "cultural Christians" are a real minority. In fact, one survey I saw years ago listed all of the basic beliefs of trinitarian Christianity and only about 11% of the population responded to believing in that.

And everything I've seen IRL in more secular marriages very much does match up to what the manosphere says.

Mike said...

malcolm,

Okay. Techniques to make yourself more self-confident and attractive to women are not game. Words mean things; you can't pick and choose what you want them to mean.

The majority of what Roissy used to write was precisely about what to do and not to do to be more attractive to women. This is why I think most Christian game critics "don't get it."

Are "sluts" a third gender that responds differently than "women?"

Crude said...

PC,

I you can't read old books to get useful advice, then you are in fact being lazy.

I don't believe this whatsoever. Let's see the book, let's see the advice. There is an industry devoted to 'communicating what the Bible has to say about dating and relationships'. The modern stuff is almost uniformly bad. The not-modern stuff relies on social and cultural structures that have been hammered hard, to say the least.

They can get custody if they break up the marriage, but they mostly don't get the money out of him and men getting custody get paid more by the child-support paying mother.

Men tend not to get custody, and the women who don't get paid tend to be occupying a particular earnings/racial demographic replete with its own problems.

If any of us women wanted to break up our marriages, we'd get nothing. No support from our community or churches, no child support and probably lose custody of the kids too, whether we SAHMd or not.

That goes against everything I see. Women get money and assets, even if their cashflow takes a dive - saying 'Women are worse off' in this case leaves out the fact that 'worse off' is about their earning potential outside of a marriage. And culturally, in this current climate, the support for women is absolutely absurd. A woman who divorces her cancer-ridden husband will get treated as a long-suffering case who never signed up for this and is doing what she thinks is best for her own health and sanity. A man who does this is a moral monster. Me, I'd say they're both monsters, but I know which way this cuts.

They aren't really reading or paying attention to much of what Dalrock highlights. That's older couples with grown kids paying attention to that stuff, IME.

Whoever's seeking it is probably whoever's reading it, and that stuff is foul.

I can assure you that women's choices are open to any amount of criticism all day erry day once you leave the bubble of the internet and celebrity culture.

Well, I can assure you of otherwise. These things trickle down, and the dynamic goes way beyond internet celebrity culture - from college campuses to otherwise, to TV shows, to yes, even churches.

As for 'falling over itself to support her frivolous divorce', I think most of the support of these things is passive. It's not like they show up at your doorstep and support you - it's in sermons, it's in charities, it's in focus.

As for 5-10 years with no kids and divorce, even granting that it's true, I don't see why that's great. Okay, no kids are involved. Unless you're about to tell me there's no money changing hands and the lost time doesn't matter and it's not female initiated, it just seems to comport with what I'm saying here.

Crude said...

I'd agree with malcolm re: premarital sex.

Okay. Techniques to make yourself more self-confident and attractive to women are not game. Words mean things; you can't pick and choose what you want them to mean. What is exactly at question is whether or not game is analogous in any way to hacking; I find the analogy strained at best.

Then I think we're having some cross-talk here, because Game sure seems to focus heavily on 'making yourself more self-confident and attractive to women' in addition to knowledge of sociosexual hierarchies and how to view women and men. It's that last one - above and beyond the hierarchy models - where I think shit goes foul. On the other hand, as I've said, I see a lot of foulness in Christian leadership on this point.

One thing that bothers me is that people will assure me that, say, better advice is out there - or say it's in the Bible - but that's where it stops. 'It's there.' People can point me at the advice. Telling me what that advice is seems harder. I also wonder how half of them would react to people straightforwardly following St Paul's teaching on, say, female conduct in church alone.

malcolmthecynic said...

The majority of what Roissy used to write was precisely about what to do and not to do to be more attractive to women. This is why I think most Christian game critics "don't get it."

Once again, you're reading something very different in the 16 commandments of poon than I am.

malcolmthecynic said...

Well, if you want specifics, you can do worse than simply following certain role models.

It's generally not written out as "Here are rules of what to and not to do", but we have the Patriarchs, Christ himself, some rules from marriage on St. Paul, even the stories of the saints to use as role models.

Here's MY question for YOU: Did you actually look?

I also recommend again the Art of Manliness as a fantastic, cool little resource.

In any case, for what it's worth, I'm animated in basically every discussion I take part in, but this isn't one that makes me particularly angry because, you know, I get it. I WANT to go and read folks like Roosh and Roissy and learn from them. But I don't think I can. That doesn't mean I'm going to go full-bore Focus on the Family Christo-Feminist either.

Crude said...

I also recommend again the Art of Manliness as a fantastic, cool little resource.

I looked at it back when you first linked it. Mostly I think I learned how to do exercise if I'm in prison, but I didn't look very far.

I'll look again.

Mike said...

Once again, you're reading something very different in the 16 commandments of poon than I am.

And that's not sufficient to cover it. I don't think I've ever said that Roissy is something other than a hedonist and PUA himself and how he generally thinks people should live now. The truth of how Roissy thinks things should be is complicated by many of his posts about how a rational society would function, most of which are probably to the right of most his own Christian critics.

Beyond that, you have the fact that there are people like Athol Kay and Vox Day that do not advocate a hedonistic approach. You may not agree with their philosophical or religious views, but what they advocate one do with what they put out there is not "run around and have sex with sluts." In fact, Kay is specifically focused on long term relationships, particularly how to fix marriages.

This is where the "essential nature" thing is more complicated than Zippy argues. Either these people are not promoting "game" or they are entirely dishonest in their intention. Or we're all just idiots because we call it a form of "game" and they either rarely use that to describe their own writings or never mind it enough to correct anyone.

Mike said...

Crude, to your point about finding that advice:

If you can't read old books to get useful advice, then you are in fact being lazy.

That presumes one can find them and then has enough wisdom to properly evaluate what they say.

Crude said...


That presumes one can find them and then has enough wisdom to properly evaluate what they say.


I agree. Past a certain point, 'The problem is you, not everyone/everything else' for good or ill. I'm browsing the art of manliness site now. I am cautious. Lots of good stuff there, but I will note that unless I've searched wrong, the art of manliness site has nothing to say about feminism. Interesting omission.

The Practical Conservative said...

Look, the child support data is put out by the feds regularly, they did a recent update for 2013. Half of all custodial mothers, including the divorced white ones do not pursue legal child support. That's what I mean by lack of whip hand. The child support statistics show that divorced white women, presumably the group being coddled, still do not ask for support at a very high rate when children are involved in the divorce and when they do, they receive less of the money than custodial fathers. They get 2/3 or so and custodial fathers get 75% and get more support ordered in the first place.

http://www.census.gov/people/childsupport/data/files/chldsu13.pdf
You can pull the older ones too. Custodial fatherhood has been much more variable than I realized. There's no clear trend.

There's some other fed sites with more recent data, but the basic picture is not that women are making out like bandits on the CS front.

As for divorce, it is completely true that women with 3+ kids don't divorce at high rates. It's harder to break out, not every state does it in a friendly format, but it's generally right at single digits. This obviously doesn't mean no women with larger numbers of children divorce. But currently about 20% of women have 0 kids lifetime and about 1/3 have 3 or more lifetime. I admit that I spend much of my IRL time with the 1/3 of women having 3 or more children lifetime and single women who will never have children. This is, though, half of all women, so I'm not hanging out with some obscure minority of women, as far as representatives of the population go.

I am not disputing that courts have tended to favor women in custody and in granting them support over the last few decades. The factual picture is decidedly more complicated though. It doesn't really fit a coherent narrative. And I am terrible at graphing and charting, so I don't post about it much, though it is interesting.

Mike said...

malcolm,

One thing to bear in mind re the definition of Game is that I don't think Zippy ever said anything that could be construed as "I hear what you're saying, but I would never call what VD and Athol Kay teach 'Game'." It seemed to be that they simply did not factor in at all, despite having huge audiences (Kay is probably about a peer to Roissy in fact).

The Practical Conservative said...

Read pre World War 2 young adult novels written for boys. And then read the ones written for girls. Start with the popular stuff, that's been filmed, most people these days haven't read the original books, which are generally quite sophisticated about male and female relationships despite being written for kids and teens.

But seriously, you're going to talk about wisdom to evaluate being this huge obstacle rendering it impossible to read an old book while recommending nerds nerding out about pimp advice? The books themselves are also mostly out of copyright and usually easy to find on project gutenberg or for free on amazon and the like.

I get it, I have my hobbyhorses too, they are all over my own blawg. But there is a point at which you have to consider giving up the hobbyhorse attachment if it's keeping you from normal human understanding. Feminism is an effect and reaction, not a cause, for starters.

Crude said...

PC,

Look, the child support data is put out by the feds regularly, they did a recent update for 2013. Half of all custodial mothers, including the divorced white ones do not pursue legal child support. That's what I mean by lack of whip hand. The child support statistics show that divorced white women, presumably the group being coddled, still do not ask for support at a very high rate when children are involved in the divorce and when they do, they receive less of the money than custodial fathers. They get 2/3 or so and custodial fathers get 75% and get more support ordered in the first place.

First, child support payments are not the only bit of money transfer involved. There's also on the spot asset transfers, not to mention alimony payments - which I'm reading is classed differently from child support. If you want me to dig up some stats on alimony payments, ask, but I suspect you're going to at least have a general idea of the gulf of differences on that point.

Second, even with what I've said in mind, the coddling goes beyond the courts. It's also at the level of culture, even charity, and it's widespread. Your stats show 648k of custodial fathers receiving child support payments at $6435. Okay. That's certainly more than the $5690 that women receive. Except there's over 5 million of them.

I think the whip hand is evident when you look even at your own numbers, and that's before starting to even think about the additional considerations.

Are women making out like bandits financially? Frankly, no. They have less income after the divorce than before. That, by the way, is treated as a big and serious problem by our current culture, something that has to be answered for. And it's a mistake to treat 'child support' as the only relevant factor here - which is why I didn't do so. Hell, even the financial end of things wasn't my focus, but things look rotten there too. My concern is at the cultural level.

Feminism is an effect and reaction, not a cause, for starters.

I'm afraid that feminism, whatever you think it may have been once upon a time, has become a beast of its own.

JBsptfn said...

Yes, pre-marital sex is always gravely immoral. Without exception. In every case. If two people have the most loving, respectful, cordial, to-all-experiences-godly relationship ever it is still gravely immoral. Do not pass Go. Do not collect 200 dollars.

This is a fundamental difference in worldview I'm afraid I can't compromise on. It's not an "up for negotiation" point.

Crude, being a Catholic, no doubt would agree, though you'd have to ask him specifically, I suppose


Malcolm, where is this biblical? And, don't give me the fornication crap. That word shouldn't be in the Bible.

Crude said...

Malcolm, where is this biblical? And, don't give me the fornication crap. That word shouldn't be in the Bible.

Wait, you think it's moral in some cases? Like when?

The Fez said...

If you're a Christian dude languishing in the asinine wold of contemporary dating, as I was (and am), the manosphere, and the concept of 'game' was hugely appealing. I read my fair bit of Cheateu Heartiste and "The Rational Male," and in there latex bound rational there is a tangible roguish wisdom. There was a temptation, further, to think that their principles can be repackaged so as to be Christian Safe, but I found, ultimately, that their formulas and strategies inculcated in me an outlook that found women repellent. The underlying justification for "Game" is that women have become increasingly promiscuous and selective in their pairing habits (or have embraced hypergamy, their 'true nature'), and the conventional nice guy strategy for approaching and seducing women is no longer feasible given this slutty new paradigm. Therefore, a man must a adopt a series of psycho-sexual, manipulative strategies in order to build legitimate confidence and inspire 'tingles' in women for the purposes of cultivating romance.

Many men can speak to the effectiveness of these strategies, but in my own case I could never self-servingly employ them for the simple reason that, in considering their very usage, I was miffed at the very notion that they should be employed in the first place. That is, I felt profound resentment toward women for having to use these strategies on them. Why did I have to resort to such 'underhanded' measures? To base psychological manipulation? To game? In the manosphere, there are all sorts of rebuffs about people like me, but I began to recognize that "game," in 95% of its instantiations, breeds startlingly negative views of women. You begin to feel that you are learning these strategies so that you can mate with a giant squid, or some kind of vagina-wielding demon.

Game promotes a straightforwardly un-Christian conception of the help-meet relationship, even with all the assurances that it allows for healthy romance.

That being said, I don't think individuals like Darlock are actively promoting "game" as it is conventionally understood in the manosphere. Darklock is acutely preoccupied with the Biblical conception of manhood and the innate responsibilities of men and women in the marriage union. "Christian Game," as far as I'm concerned, is a marketing strategy for promoting dating and marriage strategies considerably different from those of the manosphere.

Again, in the manosophere, there is an inescapable emphasis upon the psycho-sexual formulas and strategies of manipulation that one employs in attracting the opposite sex, and I don't think it can be decoupled from "game" for Christian ends.

Wood said...

Crude,

I hear you on lack of contemporary alternatives for advice on this issue. There was a time not that long ago when if I had a girl quote Beth Moore or talk about "guarding her heart" from me one more time I was going to go insane. But there are old books and wisdom out here. Read the Roman Cathechism section on Matrimony. I don't have it in front of me but there's this great line about how a man may, among other things, choose one particular woman over another with respect to her beauty or wealth or desire for an heir or her illustrious lineage or descent or something similar.  Can you imagine anything like that coming from the pseudo-Christian drivel of today?  Seriously that it's ok to choose one virtuous woman over another because one is more pretty and has money and her family is more well-established?!?  Now clearly those are not primaries, but also clearly the Church in her wisdom just "gets" (or used to) this whole men and women thing - and there's more out there where that came from. Read the "Duties of a Wife" section.  Anyway, I realize "go read The Cathechism of the Council of Trent" may be unrealistic. But seriously all that Game business  looks like a huge nearly-if-not-overtly sinful waste of time that used to be summed up with a simple: "Quit bitching and be a man."  If Catholic culture is literally incapable of saying "be a man" then that is even further evidence to me that Game should be avoided. The fact that the immorality of fornication is being debated would be exhibit A here.

The Fez,

Amen, brother.

Crude said...

Wood,

If Catholic culture is literally incapable of saying "be a man" then that is even further evidence to me that Game should be avoided.

I have no doubt at all that Catholic culture, popular culture, and just about every culture is entirely capable of saying 'be a man', with various permutations of what that should mean.

Be a man: fight sexism.

Be a man: get married and start a family.

Be a man: join the army.

Be a man: say I'm With Her.

And so on, and so on. Pressure, standards, expectations for men exist in abundance. Same as it always has, and that hasn't changed.

But Catholic culture, and the culture at large, has a serious problem with saying 'Be a lady' or 'Be a woman'. It can no longer condemn women for abortion: they are now victims, even there. That is the real problem.

As for the references, perhaps. I don't doubt some good advice existed before Game: I think Aristotle alone does a tremendous job of educating people, even if there's little actual dating advice in there. The results will be indirect but powerful, and better than what we currently have.

Wood said...

Crude,

Fair enough. I'm on your side here, but to me "various permutations" just means "we can't say it with any reference to truth." And by "we" I mean Catholics. And my thoughts were that if Catholics can't even say "be a man" or "be a lady" without permutations warped by modernism then we have no business flirting with Game. But as you said earlier this may just be cross-talk.

Crude said...

Yeah, I'm sure. It's not an easy topic, since it's not a straight lack of a particular need or presence of a particular wrong. It's subtle.

malcolmthecynic said...

JB,

I'm Catholic. That the words "don't fornicate" don't explicitly appear word for word in the Bible (I assume you're going to try some creative interpretations of Paul) means absolutely nothing to me. You're going down a dead end.

Mike said...

malcolm,

Well...

18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.

Mike said...

The Fez,

ut I found, ultimately, that their formulas and strategies inculcated in me an outlook that found women repellent

Some men do, others find that it awakens them to the reality of their own mess. One of the things I found enlightening about it was Roissy explaining, as a "jerk boy" what women find attractive about "jerk boys." I compared that to my own life and said well, there are certainly a lot of things I can't do out of principle, but it made me realize that most men are very lacking in masculinity.

I see a similar thing in a lot of women who can't understand out an attractive, very feminine basketcase who struggles with promiscuity could be so desirable to many men over a "good woman." The reason is that when you look at a lot of women today, you find that just as men aren't trying hard to be masculine in most of the US, neither are the women trying hard to be feminine.

So what we get is a case where it is the basketcases that are more likely to actually be masculine or feminine than many of the "good people" who have their lives ordered properly.