Absent fathers

Most young men today have grown up without fathers.

The father may have been in the home. But there was no masculine presence.

There was no one to teach him to follow his own conscience. He never learned that it was okay to be rejected in order to do what was right.

He never learned how to stand up to a woman.

Instead, he was taught that his mother’s approval is the standard. “If momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.”

This craving for female approval carries over into this young man’s life.

He wants a girlfriend. What do women say they want? What does his mother say women want?

They say women want a “sweet guy”. A man who’s kind and considerate.

This poor “nice guy” finds a girl he likes. He ups the “sweetness” factor and all those things he was told women want.

He works up the courage to ask her on a date. He gets turned down. 2 weeks later she’s dating a “jerk.”

Now he doesn’t know what to do with himself. His worldview has been shattered. He retreats to the lonely world of wanking off to hardcore pornography.

Eventually, he gets a girl and, after several years of dating, she decides she’s finally ready to marry.

Now his wife has replaced his mother as the central source of female approval in his life.

What will make his wife happy?

He’s determined to be a great husband. He helps with chores around the house. He’s doesn’t push too much for sex. He always gets her flowers on all the appropriate dates.

But after awhile, this illusion ends.

His wife is not happy and no one knows why.

He was hoping for a blissful marriage. Instead, he gets something like this:

Surviving as a 21st Century Man

Young men today face at least 4 difficult challenges. None of which they are adequately prepared for.

  1. The middle-class life script no longer works. And housing is priced based on double-income households. Plus inflation. Plus student debt payments. Good luck figuring out how to make enough money!
  2. He doesn’t know how emasculated he is. You don’t know what you don’t know. And it’s a painful process to wake up. And it’s difficult to figure out what to do. A man has to piece it together from random strangers on the internet.
  3. Feminism has infected all women. Even if a man knows what to do, he can expect his wife to resist his attempts to regain his masculinity.
  4. Ingrained habits. It’s difficult enough for a boy to become a man under the guidance of a strong father. It’s at 3x more difficult for a weak man to overcome his ingrained habits on his own, without the luxury of childhood, and with practically every force in society against him.

If the “obstacle is the way”, I predict that the millennial generation will end up with a small number of extraordinary men, contrasted with a large number of men who simply give up on life (either literally or through apathy.)

Perhaps this has always been the case though. I don’t know. The world of men has always been unequal.

In the meantime, if you want series of steps to build yourself up as a man, this is what I’m using for myself:

Level 0: Philosophy – Understand and accept the nature of women. If you want to take this in quick-hitting style, I recommend starting here.

Level 1: Virtues – The four virtues of men are courage, strength, mastery, and honor. Or, to put it negatively, don’t think it’s okay to be a weak, incompetent coward. Here’s a quick test I devised to check myself on these virtues.

Level 2: Presentation – The virtues are what makes you a man on the inside. But everyone else judges you based on what they see on the outside. Hence, you must learn to present yourself properly to be taken seriously as a man. Pat Stedman’s “3 Pillars of Attraction” is the most useful framework I’ve found for this. When you’re ready to improve your bedroom “presentation” there’s Don of Desire.

Level 3: Judgment – Once you have perceived power, your wife (and others) will value your opinions. She will believe what you approve of and become whoever you expect her to be. It’s basic psychology. People (and especially women) conform themselves to perceived power. So think carefully about your values and opinions.

Level 4: Art – This where you think about how you will present your values and judgments. Use whatever medium is appropriate for you. Use contrasts. Show that you care and have her (or whoever’s) best interest in mind.

Level 5: Ask – After you’ve built yourself up as a man, you have the power to make requests that will be readily complied with. Ask for small commitments before larger ones. Physical action changes people’s identity.

This isn’t a strictly linear process. I’ve gone through several iterations of this throughout my marriage. But if you’re having difficulty on one level, check the lower levels.

Yes, it’s a long and difficult process. But it’s necessary. And it’s all up to you. No one is going to push you through this process.

Stay strong soldier!

The Case for “Objectifying” Women

Contrary to the script young men are indoctrinated with, learning to properly objectify a woman is a critical manhood skill.

I’m not talking about the degrading kind of objectification… like telling her she doesn’t need to use her brains or any such nonsense.

I’m referring to the skill of being able to look at a woman as an object that needs to be acted upon. 

Most men try to view their woman as a friend. And friendships are fragile. Friendships only last as long as there is shared interest.

But marriage is not a friendship.

A real marriage occurs when a man actively cultivates and protects a woman.

The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. (Gen 2:15)

Man was created to fulfill two tasks:

  1. Work the garden (abad) – in this context, to till or cultivate the garden so that it brought forth it’s fruit
  2. Keep the garden (shamar) – keep watch, preserve, protect the garden

Now, as we learn in the Song of Songs and in Ephesians 5, man’s real work is not gardening. The garden was a real life metaphor to help men understand women.

Some clarification on the cultivation process might be helpful here:

Loosening and breaking up (tilling) of the soil. The soil around existing plants is cultivated (by hand using a hoe, or by machine using a cultivator) to destroy weeds and promote growth by increasing soil aeration and water infiltration. Soil being prepared for the planting of a crop is cultivated by a harrow or plow.

A woman must be regularly “loosened” and broken in to destroy the negative effects that accumulate in her body. She must be opened up and “prepared” to be nourished with life-giving water. Deep plowing is especially necessary when planting a new “crop” or opening up new channels for “water infiltration.”

Also note that cultivation is not for the timid. The man must use the appropriate amount of force that the situation calls for. The ground gives resistance and a slack hand cannot penetrate the ground deep enough to properly plant his seed.

In short, the gardener cannot be preoccupied with whether he’s hurting the ground’s feelings. He “objectifies” the ground by seeing it as something that needs to be worked upon.

Most men lack confidence with women. Seeing a woman as a garden that needs to be “worked” is the key to confidence.

 

The Manhood Test

  1. Are you willing to face rejection now to live the life you truly want later?
  2. Are you willing to lose money now to have an abundance of wealth later?
  3. Are you willing to endure physical pain now to become stronger later?
  4. Are you willing to endure being wrong and confused now to become wiser later?
  5. Do you give up when you “fail” or double-down on your effort?
  6. Do you pick goals that are rewarding and difficult… or adequate and easy? Are you hunting antelope or field mice?

The final question is the most important. A man must hunt what will truly satisfy his hunger.

Why Engineers Have Trouble with Women

As I was ruminating the ways of women, I had an epiphany on why they seem so confusing to men who are especially logical.

Men who are rigorously logical have an inclination to pursue careers in engineering, coding, or some sort of field that relies on numerical intelligence.

I spent a few months at one point training to go into the coding field. I found that my numerical intelligence was not high enough to solve the problems in an efficient manner. I actually found it rather distressing. So I decided to drop that pursuit and stick with what I’m good at (psychology and words.)

Point is, I can respect the guys that do that kind of work. These guys are no dummies.

But, stereotypically, the engineer/coder type has a hard time “getting” women.

I’ve wondered why that is.

Why doesn’t one type of intelligence transfer over to figuring out women?

Then it hit me:

Based on my limited experience with coding, I realized that the way engineers solve problems goes something like this:

  1. Recognize an error
  2. Find what’s causing the error
  3. Fix the cause of the error

Each problem has a fresh cause. Hence the need for high intelligence. You have to figure out from just a small clue what the root cause might be.

Since this approach is logical, it would make sense to apply this to women:

  1. She’s upset
  2. Find out what’s bothering her
  3. Change what was bothering her

Problem is, that doesn’t work with women. In fact, it tends to make things worse.

Women are a completely different “system.” It’s almost the opposite with women:

Rather than having an infinite range of possible causes, there are only a few causes that cause an infinite range of symptoms.

In other words, you don’t to be terribly smart to figure out women. You just have to guess the root cause from a small list of possibilities.

But if you’re too smart, it could backfire on you. You think the cause is something more complicated than it is.

For the most part, all of a woman’s frustrations and anxieties are rooted in at least one of the following:

  • Looking uglier than her friends
  • Being fatter than her friends
  • Losing her attractiveness as she ages
  • Losing her man (or not getting a man if she’s single)
  • Harming her children
  • Being shamed by other women (especially other moms)

And, depending on her background, she may also have some of the these fears:

  • Fear of being poor
  • Fear of being sick
  • Fear of going to hell

You don’t need to solve each problem. Just play multiple choice and take a stab at what the underlying issue is.

Case in point:

Just tonight I accidentally dropped my wife while we were swing dancing. Naturally, she was upset. I assumed she was mad at me. But after talking about it, it turns out she mostly worried that she fell ungracefully like a fat girl. I assured her that she didn’t look fat when she fell and actually handled it rather gracefully. Then we moved on with our evening.

Hopefully this will help some of you gents out.

Idiocracy was Right

Looks like the West is in for an interesting dilemma:

The human race is approaching the point where it’s no longer reproducing enough to expand the global headcount. In the world’s biggest economies — the U.S., China, Japan and Germany — it’s already happening or will soon. Economists say these countries could see slower economic growth unless they increase their working-age populations by accepting immigrants, possibly from regions with higher fertility rates, like parts of Asia and Africa. Lower fertility rates — the number of live births per woman — could also threaten safety-net programs like pensions and health care.

On the one hand, you have career-oriented women who delay having children. The more intelligent a woman is, the more likely she’ll pursue an education and start a career. That certainly slows down the replacement rate.

But the other side of the equation is simply that modern technology has allowed dumb people to survive and have more babies.

Also, notice how this crisis was leveraged to advocate pro-immigration policies.

It’s a politically charged mess that no one wants to talk about. It seems we’re headed towards one of two outcomes:

  1. Society will become collectively dumber
  2. Some catastrophe will kill off everyone unfit for survival

Scenario #2 could likely be caused by Scenario #1.

We’re in for some interesting times.

In the meanwhile, remember that your responsibility as a reasonably intelligent man is to ensure the survival of yourself and your family. “Survival” is not the same thing as “security.” The more precautions and risks you take now, the more likely you are to survive. Ideally, you want to be anti-fragile.

Antifragility in a nutshell means what will you do if you:

  • Lose your job?
  • Get threatened with violence?
  • Lose your wife?
  • Get disowned by your friends and family?
  • Discover your beliefs are wrong?

Once you can cope with the worst, you find opportunity in every change.

 

When Providing for Your Family Can Destroy Your Marriage

I recently came across a fascinating piece of propaganda called “Men as Providers.”

It was an article published on the Council of Biblical Manhood & Womanhood (CBMW)’s blog several years back. Their stated mission is to “set forth the teachings of the Bible about the complementary differences between men and women.”

So far so good.

But as I delved into the article I realized that the advice given, as noble as it sounded, was precisely the line of thinking that almost shipwrecked my marriage a few years back.

Since this rhetoric is so pervasive in conservative church culture, I thought it’d be worth a quick analysis here.

The article opens with the claim “Christian men are called to provide for their families.”

Hard to disagree with that.

Then 1 Timothy 5:8 is used as authoritative backing of that claim:

“But if any man does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”

There are two red flags here.

One is that shameful rhetoric is entirely unnecessary. You should always be suspicious of an argument that opens with shame.

Shame is a fear trigger. Being shamed means you are rejected by the group. And when your mind is in a state of fear, it cannot think rationally. And the elimination of rational thought is the necessary condition for making people receptive to false ideas.

Shaming can be used for good, of course. That’s what Paul does. But that brings us to the second red flag:

The author is using Paul’s words in an entirely different context!

If you look up Paul’s argument in context, it goes something like this:

Do not scold your elders.

Honor (true) widows:

  1. A widow’s children or grandchildren should learn to reciprocate love by providing for their own mother/grandmother (i.e. the church should not intervene)
  2. A true widow is a woman who has no family to provide for her
  3. A woman who squanders her resources is as good as dead
  4. A man who refuses to provide for his own [widowed relatives], and especially his family [mother, grandmother] is worse than an unbeliever.

Qualifications for a true widow:

  1. Not under 60 years old
  2. Remained married to her husband
  3. Known for good works

So we see that the point of Paul’s rhetoric was to shame men who refused to provide for their poor old mothers.

But this context is not even hinted at in the article. Instead, the rhetoric is re-purposed for something entirely different:

One of the most God-glorifying pictures of the gospel is when a man puts his childhood dreams to the side, steps up to the plate, gets a job, and valiantly cares for his family.

Now we see the true intention of this article: to motivate men to give up on their dreams and settle for a job that is less desirable to them.

The author says that “this is a man dying to self and living for another.”

Finally, the author concludes with this:

Our hearts break when we see a man who selfishly refuses a job because it does not align with his dreams while his wife and kids suffer. We are not alone in condemning this man. Scripture condemns him too. He is worse than an unbeliever.

By “suffering”, I’m assuming the author means having a smaller kitchen than her friends, having to shop at a thrift store, and not being able to travel. 21st century life is difficult.

Kill the Dream, Kill the Marriage

The irony of this advice is this is the exact line of reasoning that got my marriage in trouble in the first place.

I married my wife while in college. During my junior year I realized I was wasting my time and wanted to drop out and go into business.

But my wife didn’t want me to because she valued college degrees and the economic security it represented. So I stuck with it and got my degree.

When I graduated college, I had no marketable skills. And these supposed jobs that hire anyone with a college degree didn’t exist.

But I realized one thing about myself: I was an entrepreneur at heart. I knew that, with the right skills and perseverance, I could make money on my own.

But it took longer than expected. I didn’t know what I didn’t know.

So my wife begged me to get a regular job with a steady paycheck. So I found a writing job that paid $12/hour.

I absolutely hated that job. The company was dishonest and constantly took on clients that we couldn’t help. I was instructed to lie to get writing opportunities and had to write about topics I had no real-world qualifications to write about.

I wanted to quit the job. But my wife wanted the steady paycheck.

I told myself I was doing the right thing by gritting my teeth and “providing for my family.”

I felt like a trapped and emasculated man. I began to despise both myself and my wife.

I began to vent my frustrations on her. Our sex life dried up. I started making stupid financial decisions out of desperation to escape my hated situation.

It wasn’t until I quit that job and reclaimed pursuing my mission that our marriage got back on track.

Don’t buy into the shameful rhetoric.

A must do what he was created to do.

 

 

The Anxiety Economy

Americans have become so anxious that a new industry is emerging: “anxiety consumerism.”

Fidget spinners, weighted blankets, adult coloring books, aromatherapy, essential oils, etc.

Nothing wrong with these products per se. Entrepreneurship is all about finding what people want and giving it to them. But the fact that this even exists as a viable business opportunity is telling of our culture.

Some of the reasons the “talking heads” have come up with include:

  • phones
  • Donald Trump
  • climate change
  • the recession
  • FOMO
  • divorce
  • social media
  • student debt
  • terrorism
  • the 24-hour news cycle
  • the economy
  • living farther from family
  • toxins in your gut
  • too many choices
  • too little sleep
  • too little sex

Those all may be plausible. But I think the media is unwilling/unable to admit the root cause:

The loss of masculine virtues.

We are facing a time of great change. People want to rely on institutions to direct us: school, media, church.

But these institutions are unable to provide meaningful answers in a chaotic world. The success of these institutions has largely depended on resisting change rather than embracing it.

School does not teach us how to navigate life. It teaches us how to follow orders. But what happens when the rewards for compliance disappear?

The mainstream media does not help us find meaning in life. It tells us what to be afraid of and what to buy.

Church does not answer people’s most personal questions. It tells us what questions to ask and then gives the answer.

And so it is that each individual is left to navigate a world of chaos on their own.

The ones who will survive and thrive?

Men with courage to face uncertainty and risk.

Men with strength to endure difficult times.

Men with skill who can navigate life on their own.

And the women and children who are joined with such a man.

The Porn Industry is Up to Something

I have enough experience working in media to know that a story like Kanye West taking over the PornHub awards is not just some random event of interest.

The people who write the articles do not have time to do their own research. Somebody always feeds them the story.

And people don’t feed the media stories unless it serves an agenda.

My best guess is this was a political move by Kanye in preparation for his future run for president.

What is telling is that Kanye judged hosting awards for a pornography site to be a worthwhile activity to fit into his busy schedule.

Kanye West is no dummy. He recognizes what few are afraid to openly acknowledge: that the pornography industry is a major influence on culture and worldview.

Porn reaches people precisely at the moment when they are most receptive to suggestions: acutely aware of a problem (e.g. unfulfilled sex drive) and indulging in a fantasy where that problem doesn’t exist.

Add to that equation the mind-altering effects of masturbation, and porn is probably the most powerful propaganda tool in existence.

This is why most porn is not designed as art. It doesn’t help you appreciate sex. It is designed to get lonely men to jerk off so they can become more receptive to ideas like:

  • You don’t deserve to have sex with a woman unless you have a 8″ cock
  • Blacks are a superior race that deserve to breed with white women
  • Letting a better man have sex with your wife is a good idea
  • You can never perform as well as these alpha studs, so just let the pros do it while you watch
  • All women that want sex are out of your league so you might as well just watch from a safe distance

The net effect of these suggestions is that men feel inadequate to satisfy a woman and therefore resort to passive voyeurism.

This is the state in which a man is most politically useful to the elites. Docile. Powerless. Ready to yield his family to stronger men.

My Marriage in a Nutshell

Introverted intuition is a function that is often described as hard to explain, due to its highly inward and intangible nature. The introverted intuition type has the ability to ‘thread’ multiple sources of phenomena into a certain view or vision. This is contrary to its opposite, extraverted sensation, which sees things as they comes and in a very concrete manner. The lack of this extraverted sensation can often make the Ni type a very dogged character, ignoring what is apparent and focusing on their synthesised worldview.

Wikipedia

My wife is primarily extroverted sensing. I’m introverted intuition.

I’m so future-focused that I typically have little concern for what I perceive to be small speed bumps on the way to a larger vision.

My wife lives in the moment. What’s happening now?

I’m rarely able to explain to her what I’m doing or why I’m doing it. My thought process synthesizes multiple ideas and is evolving on a daily basis.

On the surface, I appear like I’m constantly changing my mind or perhaps have no idea what I’m doing. But inside my head, my goals and strategies are clear.

The challenge for me is remembering to show my wife tangible resources and tools to solve immediate needs. Even if I think the problems are superfluous, taking time to alleviate her fears is important.

During my “blue pill” days, I used to apologize a lot for my lack of results, get frustrated, and even give into self-pity. That’s also about the time we started having some serious marriage problems.

Nowadays, I just repeatedly tell her that I know what I’m doing and that my work will pay off soon. I listen to her share her concerns and acknowledge that they are justifiable feelings.

Like clockwork, I get a “shit test” about finances every month. And also like clockwork, she stops hassling me after about a 30 minute test.

Understanding both the nature of women and personality psychology is a helpful tool to having a peaceful marriage.

 

How to Acquire “Irrational” Confidence

Today, I’d say that I’m a confident guy.

I scored a 99% for “assertiveness” on my personality test. Provided that I don’t die, I have no doubt that I will lead a successful life in one form or another.

I certainly have moments of fear or hesitation… particularly in live performance situations like talking in public or doing nature’s duty in the bedroom… but I never doubt my ability to ultimately overcome any challenge I face.

But I wasn’t someone who was naturally confident.

Throughout junior high and high school, I had zero confidence with girls. In fact, I hardly knew any girls. Because girls didn’t hang out in my social circle… because I didn’t really have a social circle.

I managed to make one Japanese friend in elementary school. But after a couple years of trying to tag along with the Japanese crowd in junior high, I realized they didn’t like having a greasy white boy contaminating their group.

In retrospect, my low social status at the time was obvious. I had poor hygiene and grooming habits. I also had the habit of making subtle but derisive remarks to people’s faces which tended to go unappreciated. As one girl summed it up after I made a rather rude comment to her: “Nobody likes you, know.”

I cleaned up my act quite a bit for high school and became more of a “nice guy” in hopes of doing better with the ladies. But we all know how well that works. I just got a bad case of oneitis, worked up the courage to ask her out, then got rejected. Like most modern guys, I was not trained in handling rejection so I spent a good couple years wallowing in self-pity.

I also had zero confidence in the money arena. I doubted that I could ever make any serious money. I felt sincerely grateful that someone allowed me to shovel alpaca shit for $6/hour. And I didn’t envision my career prospects getting much better.

However, in spite of my incompetence and complete lack of confidence in these two essential arenas of manhood, I had two assets that eventually triumphed over my inadequacies:

  1. A vision of what I wanted
  2. Confidence in my ability to learn

I wanted two things in life: a beautiful woman and wisdom. So I earnestly prayed for these two things.

And I did not judge my ability to learn based on my school performance (which was mediocre) but rather my ability to understand and apply what I read in books.

The written word is an amazing gift. It allows cowering orphaned boys to lift themselves up and become a man.

It was the written word that introduced me to entrepreneurship, sales, and marketing. I learned that with the right skills and perseverance, anyone can make money. We don’t have to live our lives with a poverty mindset or compete for low-wage jobs.

It was the written word that taught me the truth about women’s sexuality and how I could adjust my behavior to better align with reality.

Today, I have confidence that if there is a problem I have or something I don’t know, someone, somewhere, has figured it out and written it down… or at least the vital clue I need to figure it out myself.

My inner confidence came from the process of learning, not from my present performance or being “right.”

My learning process is simple:

  1. Research until I find something that looks like it might help me solve an interesting problem
  2. Skim the content until I have an epiphany
  3. Go on a walk and try to internalize the new insight. How does it fit or conflict with what I already know?
  4. Immediately update my mental models (i.e. worldview)
  5. Immediately make any necessary behavior changes

For me, the key to learning is the epiphany. If someone turns on a light, I don’t need to waste time examining the character of the person who turned the light on, asking what kind of light bulb he used, what mechanical motions he went through to turn on the light, or any other superfluous details.

I know when I’ve been exposed to the light because the light drives away the darkness. Likewise, the truth drives away confusion.

But we’re conditioned to believe that truth is difficult to grasp. That we’re not “qualified” to recognize truth. We’re told there are many complexities and contextual details that require special training to grasp.

So instead, we rely on teachers who do nothing but spread confusion and instill a sense of inadequacy in the student. We become like the silly women spoken of by the Apostle Paul:

…always learning and yet not at any time able to come into a realization of the truth. (2 Tim 3:7)

Yes, there are different degrees of intelligence. Some may need to spend longer processing a new idea before they “get it.” That’s fine.

But if you’ve been facing the same problem for years and haven’t found any real solutions from the “official” sources, then the problem is not you, it’s the teacher, the idea, the framework.

A man who can learn on his own has confidence. The man who relies on institutions to teach him will always doubt his ability.

Truth creates clarity. Falsehood creates confusion and guilt. Every man is fully capable of recognizing the difference.

You have a brain. You’re made in the image of God.

You don’t need other men to teach you. You just need someone to flick on the light switch so you can see.