Desiring God published an article yesterday that seems to signal a turning point.
But the question is, a turning to what?
The article is titled “‘Happy Wife, Happy Life’ and Other Misleading Advice to Young Husbands“.
The author, Greg Morse, goes on to dismiss the following four cliches:
- “Happy Wife, Happy Life”
- “Your Spouse is Your Best Friend”
- “Be a Servant Leader”
- “Marriage is 50/50”
This article is significant for at least two reasons:
- These are the same ideas that red pilled Christian men have been objecting to for years
- The author is the content strategist for Desiring God, so this article indicates a deliberate decision. It’s not simply an allowing of an alternative perspective to “slip through”
The article goes on to drop some surprisingly red pill statements. For example:
Just letting her have her way is much more comfortable than making unpopular decisions on weighty matters, that you think (and pray) are spiritually best for her and your family: Whether they be where your children go to school, what church you join, where you live next, when to have children, or countless difficult choices that require spiritual energy, courage, and faith.
And this one on why the husband can’t be a follower:
It isn’t a symmetrical partnership in which the relational patterns are interchangeable. The elegance of the dance consists in the man leading assertively, lovingly, thoughtfully, and the woman following fearlessly, receptively, joyfully — which is much more than mere friendship. The dance is improper when the husband attempts to follow.
And on “servant leadership”:
The paradox of servant leader devolves, in some minds, into merely meaning servant: You sacrifice your convictions for any and all of her ambitions. You take on her calling, not because of exceptional circumstance but only because you wanted to lay your aspirations down for hers. You coddle her, never asking her to do anything that she does not already want to do — even if you think it best for her ultimate joy in the Lord.
And, perhaps most surprisingly, an explicit acknowledgement of feminism:
Our feminist-influenced, Bible-ignoring, headship-shaming society wishes real men to be milder. They wish you passive. They wish you silent.
But God entrusts you to speak, to sacrifice, to crush serpents. He calls you to be true to your nature — the one he gave you — and play the man that you are. And that man is not timid, not unassertive, not feeble in the faith: “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong” (1 Corinthians 16:13).
On the surface, this looks like a major victory for the red pill movement. But I wouldn’t be too quick to celebrate. There are at least a couple red flags that raise my suspicions.
First, the author never says the old advice is wrong. He merely describes the advice as “naive” and “easily-misunderstood.” This sounds like a politician’s apology.
Secondly, there is an odd discrepancy between the title and the introduction. The title suggests (at least to young men) “hey, you’ve been lied to and we’re going to open your eyes to the truth.” But the introduction does not empathize with young men. Instead the introduction is about women who are struggling to get their husbands to be less passive. Then the remainder of the article is addressed to men.
I see one of two possibilities here:
One, Desiring God has suddenly (and inexplicably) turned red pill. And since they write for a broad audience they’re trying to give a “soft” introduction that empathizes with women.
Or Option 2: Desiring God has recognized that the old rhetoric is no longer effective as perhaps revealed by this incongruent remark from the article:
[The ‘Happy Wife, Happy Life’ mentality] backfires on us, leaving even a growing number of unbelievers wondering how to get their men to be less passive.
Translation: “Putting the wife on the pedestal has backfired on our agenda. We now have a passive men problem and every one is suspicious. We need to address this now.”
If Option 2 is the case, we can expect to see Desiring God and other Christian leaders start to absorb red pill rhetoric and address the masculinity crisis. But it won’t be to help men. It will be to co-opt the movement for the fem-centered agenda. I believe this is what Rollo Tomassi refers to as the “purple pill.”
Time will tell. Hope for the best and prepare for the worst.
But one thing we do know: the red pill has broken through.