Chuck Rudd explores the idea that female ‘goodness’ is the standard of morality in reactive society.
GMP founder Tom Matlack is getting a lot of heat from feminists for his article “Being a Dude is a Good Thing”. Amanda Marcotte calls him a whiner; David Futrelle casts doubt on every anecdote that Matlack provides in his piece, such as this one:
One close friend jokes, “When speaking to my wife I always make sure to look at the ground in deference. And I make sure not to make any sudden movements.” I’ve watched him. He loves his wife.
He’s a very competent human being. But with her he’s decided the only way to survive is to submit. The female view is the right view. The male view just gets you into trouble.
The part that interests me is that society is organized in such a way that the natural instincts of men are shameful and criminal while the natural instincts of women are mostly legal and acceptable. In other words, men are born as round pegs in a society full of square holes. Whose fault is that? Do you blame the baby who didn’t ask to be born male? Or do you blame the society that brought him into the world, all round-pegged and turgid, and said, “Here’s your square hole”?
The way society is organized at the moment, we have no choice but to blame men for bad behavior. If we allowed men to act like unrestrained horny animals, all hell would break loose. All I’m saying is that society has evolved to keep males in a state of continuous unfulfilled urges, more commonly known as unhappiness. No one planned it that way. Things just drifted in that direction.
Men are square pegs in a round world. Female ‘goodness’ is the standard of morality in reactive society. And make no mistake, 99% of what we do in our day-to-day lives is either reactive or mere listless wandering – ‘going through the motions’, to borrow a phrase. Thus, women hold the moral high ground in most facets of our everyday life. With that knowledge, your regular Joe Blow is quickly marginalized because he pretty much knows that he cannot compete with women on this score. Men fall on the wrong side of this divide in a multitude of ways, much of which causes the women in our lives to jump down our throats. From being overly crude or ignoring some minor domestic detail or wanting to stay out with friends or wanting to watch football or stay on the internet or our ‘disgusting’ fantasies that flow through our sexually-explicit minds (which we mostly keep to ourselves but buttresses the criticism we’re getting on other fronts) – in so many ways it is women who are criticizing the men they are dating or married to. Matlack’s observation is this: why the ‘nag gap’? Why is it that women nag more at men than the reverse?
What does it mean that women have a greater ‘reactive’ morality? First, before someone accuses me of being a female supremacist, I’ll argue that a high reactive morality is offset by a low active morality. I’ll try to explain that a little, though the concept is still being developed in my brain. Well, men are good at creating, building, and exploring. They are good at making moral pronouncements too. But men are less good at just being ‘good’ – at staying static and in line with polite society. Moreso than women, men emit radioactive particles which set off stochastic gamma ray sensors. Being more passive then men, in general, womens’ behavior is a non-value. As such, it cannot be bad – though it is also not really good in a more metaphysical sense. It is good but in a particularly dull and sterile way. It is polite. But polite shouldn’t really be confused with goodness. It certainly isn’t bad, but polite is, again, a non-action. But polite is the preferred mode of conduct in “polite society”. Being more active and more dynamic, whatever it is that men do or think often falls outside the circle of good that polite society has drawn.
A couple of points are dying to be made. To my knowledge they haven’t yet.
Which men and women are we talking about? There are a lot of bad men in the world and a lot of women who’ve been harmed by those bad men. But Matlack is not talking about those people. He’s talking about a certain subset of men and a certain subset of women. The women that some men are criticizing are the ones who haven’t experienced any overt pain and suffering at the hands of men. These are well-adjusted and privileged women who have ridden the coattails of women who have suffered in the past.
What is the frame of reference for what is good and what is right? Futrelle points out that women get blamed for divorce. Though they do initiate 75% of divorces and though some anti-feminists criticize women for this, women are generally not blamed for divorce by anyone that counts. That is the important point. The people who do criticize or blame women are on the outside of the decision-making, resource-wielding, agenda-setting bubble. Some people might blame women, but the only people who are actually listened to – academics, bureaucrats, lawyers – are not blaming women for anything. Men get the sense that their only allies in all of this are considered crackpots by the same people who already hold the moral high road.
This is the best way to sum up the problem that Matlack addresses and which his feminist interlocutors refuse to even acknowledge: some men experience a certain soft despotism at the hand of their wives and girlfriends. This soft despotism erodes their spirit in many untold ways. They come to believe that they are inferior on the home front. That is a true story of many men’s lives. Those men aren’t in the same group as abusive husbands or cads (not that either is related). Matlack asks “why”, and, because he deigns to ask the question, is slapped on the hand by the storm troopers.