Are “bad boy” and “Alpha” just excuses?

Emily B. writes:

First, I want to thank you for what you have done: fought for the truth, civilization, and even good women. Given the nature of this “movement,” the word “sweet,” as in “sweet of him” actually came to mind. I am also grateful for Mark Jaws and especially Kristor. One only needs to read what you men say about civilization, struggle, and women, and then contrast that with the tenor of the Roissyites where there is wailing and defeatism … no explanation necessary.

Roger G. cuts to the chase and spells out better than anyone else what is going on:

The men asserting that they can’t find wives because the women “don’t want nice guys” are engaging in self-justification and/or self-delusion. What is actually happening is that the women whom they consider sufficiently attractive to pursue don’t find them sufficiently attractive and/or interesting in return. Women who fail to measure up to their standards of beauty won’t get the time of day from these “nice guys.”

Interestingly, the anger of these men shows one of the paramount sex differences: when upset, men get angry and react outward towards others while women feel hurt and turn inwards unto themselves. Thus we hear far more about the problem of “flaky women” than “superficial men.”

These men, for whatever reason, have been found wanting and typically the woman is “wrong” or “bad” for rejecting them.. This lament has probably been around as long as romantic marriage. What hasn’t been remarked upon is that in order to preserve their sense of worth, the men these women did choose have been vilified. In the Roissy universe, there are no good, strong men fighting for their families, civilization, etc. All the strong guys taking up the best women are thugs. [LA replies: This is the first time anyone has made this point.] I don’t hear exultations to be stronger, braver, and better. Instead, I hear whining about lack of (mostly) fornicating.

Back when I was 17 to 20, I had two vivid experiences of two men questioning me on why I chose my boyfriend (now husband of over 10 years). Lee said very much the same things these guys have said. One day he surprised me and asked why I was with a “bad guy.” He whined that women didn’t like nice guys and my choice was proof of this. To Lee, it was obvious. He was Saludictorian of our class, a well brought up son of a minister, and polished. My boyfriend had long hair and was a slacker. I felt guilty and wondered if it was true. In hindsight, I realize it was not.

First, I learned later Lee had liked me for years and I had no idea.. He never told me. Second, the disrespect my husband showed for school was seen as a “flaw” by me. The year before, I had a crush on that class’s Valedictorian. What he and my husband had in common was extremely high intelligence AND a very object oriented mind … they were nerds in other words. (My previous created and sold a video game that paid for his college). Third, my husband was strong. He went on to serve in the military and his bravery and strength have been called upon to defend me from harm. Fourth, this supposed slacker is not just a smart worker, but a hard worker who puts in insane amounts of overtime in order take care of me and our five little ones.

Happily for Lee, he grew up. He came to see me and asked if he had a chance with me. When I told him I was engaged, he did not whine but showed strength. He married shortly afterward while in college and started a family right away.

The other guy, by the way, was a married man who started harassing me the very day (!) my husband left for boot camp. His schtick was that I rejected him because I was “uptight” and couldn’t appreciate a “grown man.” He sent all kinds of literature about rejecting society’s norms and embracing hedonism. Seriously. He actually called up my mother to tell her what was wrong with my boyfriend. It was completely surreal, but he spoke with as much passion as Lee before him and these Roissyites. She told him that if he ever so much as looked at me again, she would hurt him. He did as told.

- end of initial entry -

BH writes:

Now I’m annoyed.

What really makes a man angry and resentful is not failing to get a date (I am a studious sort and during my dateless years enjoyed my books and my art thoroughly), but being misled by the bad dating advice, useless platitudes, and outright lies of the kind being promulgated on your site by Kathlene M., Laura W., Roger G. and now Emily B. [Please note: VFR takes no responsibility for dating advice posted by its readers.] After learning a little “game,” we suddenly find ourselves able to date those very women we were supposedly unworthy of before. People like me are not resentful of beautiful women rejecting us, because they aren’t, at least not any more, but we are very resentful of all the sanctimonious people who have misled us or told us it was all because we just weren’t good enough, when that clearly was not the case.

Many of the biggest disillusionments come, not from failure, but from success. I honestly feel utterly betrayed by many of the people in supposedly conservative circles who have dispensed the kind of atrocious advice here being promulgated. [LA repeats: VFR is not promulgating any advice. It posts comments by a variety of readers with a variety of views, and has posted many pro-Game comments. Furthermore, to portray bad dating advice as the fault of conservatism as such is off-base and exactly the kind of mistake Gamers have made which puts them at ideological war with everything coming before them.] It is shameful that men have to turn to rakes and pick up artists to learn basic social skills that they should have been taught by their elders in their families, churches, and schools.

BH replies to LA:

I didn’t mean to imply that you yourself were giving out bad dating advice. My criticisms were of the bad dating advice from your commenters.

For example, Laura W. dispensing some of the worst advice:

“The Internet has opened up many possibilities. The type of woman Jacob is looking for exists and there are many who are depressed as hell because they can’t find someone like him. He needs to keep moving, actively search and not assume that because he is part of a church he is encountering Christians.”

Let’s dissect this particular instance.

1. Moving from place to place won’t work unless you have the basic skills to attract women. Otherwise, you’ll just continue fail to attract women, only in a new social circle.

2. Most internet dating sites have about eight men for every woman. It’s possible for a man to find someone there, but the odds are very much against you.

3. The type of woman who wants a guy who is just a nice guy provider are exceedingly rare, if they exist at all. Laura W. may be hearing some young women saying that is all they want, but that doesn’t necessarily reflect how those young women will act. There are doubtless some very ugly women who will accept someone who is just a nice guy provider as a last resort, but they would really prefer to have someone with more fun, charismatic, and seductive too.

I did not say that conservatism was to blame for bad dating advice, but rather that many conservatives were seriously misleading young men with sentimental nonsense. Apologies if I my writing was a bit convoluted on that point.

ALSO NOTE: As I have mentioned to you in a previous (unpublished) email, I’m not entirely happy with the connotations of the term “game” either, but we seem to be stuck with it. By game I mean the systematic study of what makes men attractive to women and the application of that knowledge towards acquiring a mate, whether long or short term, nothing more.

LA replies:

First, whether Laura’s advice is good or bad, there’s nothing conservative or non-conservative about it. It’s just advice.

BH writes:

“The type of woman who wants a guy who is just a nice guy provider are exceedingly rare…. [women] would really prefer to have someone with more fun, charismatic, and seductive too.”

An unreal dichotomy has been present in this discussion from the start which has bothered me but I haven’t articulated it until now. On one side, many people do seem to act as if all a guy has to be is “nice” and a “provider,” and that there’s something wrong with women for not being interested in such a fellow. And against this bland and dull option, the Gamers say, “No, a woman wants someone who is exciting, dangerous, dominating, etc.”

Well OF COURSE if the usual option is nothing but “nice provider,” what woman worth her salt would be interested? Obviously any woman is going to want something more than a pleasant cipher who makes a living. Women want to look up to a man, they want to see him as manly, heroic, romantic. But when people in this discussion say that there’s something wrong in the fact that women are not interested in a “nice, stable, provider” type, they are implying that a man does not need and should not need to be manly, interesting, and fun to win a woman.

So, as long as the average, Beta man, against which the superior Alpha alternative is counterposed, is nothing but a nice provider, implying a kind of lifelessness, then that is going to push the Game promoters into excessive and perverse notions of what a man needs to do in order to attract a woman. We end up with the false alternatives of being a schlub or a Don Juan, with nothing in between.

In short, the objectionable approach of Roissy does seem to be a reaction to a passive, dispirited quality on the part of many Betas. The solution, then, is for men to get more life in themselves, not to become disciples of a pornographer.

Kathlene writes:

BH writes: “Now I’m annoyed.”

He’s annoyed? Aren’t you getting annoyed? I think the Gamers are “playing” us all now.

Game is merely another manifestation of our society’s decline, not a revolution. Its most ardent supporters at the Roissy site are narcissists and they don’t care what anyone thinks since they attribute no meaning to their game, unlike these fervent young men.

From an article on narcisssism:

In general, true narcissists think very highly of themselves, are not very concerned with intimacy, and believe they are unique and smarter and more attractive than others. They often maintain these feelings by seeking and expressing superiority to or dominance over others. The defining feature of those with narcissistic tendencies, the study found, is what the researchers call “game-playing love.”

If these young men want to follow the advice of narcissistic fools, and call all the rest of us fools, then so be it. I think they’re trying to waste your time in endless philosophical discussions.

“Professing to be wise, they became fools.”—Romans 1:22

“Foolish men, because of their sins, and because of their wrongdoing, are troubled” Psalm 107:17

“Stay away from a foolish man, for you will not find knowledge on his lips.”—Proverbs 14:7

“….. the folly of fools is deception.”- Proverbs 14:8

Aaron S. writes:

Ok, Lawrence, I’ll admit it. These “gamers” are starting to annoy me. And despite the fact that I still think Kathlene missed some important dimensions of this whole problem, I’m beginning to see some greater truth in what she said.

A lot of these young men need a good thrashing—I don’t mean that literally, but Mark Jaws was right to use the phrase “self-induced tailspin”. If Mark P.’s analysis is correct—and I think it is—then we have to take seriously the fact that many young men in this age cohort will never find a suitable mate. That’s a hard pill to swallow, but there it is. I can’t say that smugly—I’ve got a son to worry about, and the whole situation bothers me greatly.

But now what? A wise man on this site (maybe it was you!) said recently that living in the decadent period of any civilization is not for the faint of heart. [LA replies: I said, “Living through the disintegration of a civilization is not for sissies.”] The gamers keep mocking traditional conservatism with the charge of monasticism, as if that were simply impossible and out of the question, even as a second option. If a man can’t face that possibility straight on, how is it that he’d manage a real marriage and family (where sacrifices far greater than going without sex are required)? Do these young men suppose that by employing tricks gleaned from internet nihilists and absurd men poncing about in silly hats that they ought to be taken seriously in anything? Have they no shame? No sense of self-respect?

Of course, if they just wanted sex alone, they could go their way and get it (lowering one’s sights makes all sorts of things possible there). It’s the essential unmanliness of it all that turns the stomach: don’t lament the fate of the world as a whole if you haven’t the strength to value anything above the condition of your groin. So gamers—really, now—which side are you on here? Bear in mind that often the world, too, spits out the lukewarm.

P.S. As to the silly hats. I knew a guy in college—this would have been about 20 years ago—who quite deliberately went about constructing a “dark loner” persona in the hopes of attracting women… single dorm room, minimal social contact, long jackets, brooding expression, small bouts of rudeness interspersed with poetry—there was a whole strategy. I still laugh to think of it. Most of us were dateless, and things seemed hopeless at the time. Of course, it worked! The point: NONE of us wanted to be that guy, despite his increased success.

Mike writes:

Emily B.’s comment is quite offensive. I’m glad that she found happiness, but no one who marries her “high school sweetheart” has any right to talk about the dating market. It changes immeasurably after you leave that environment. Second, it’s great that her slacker boyfriend turned out to be a hard-working guy, but (surprisingly?) most of these guys turn out to be actual slackers—and the women who fell for them are disappointed, disillusioned, and degraded. Third, I’d like to know what Emily thinks is so fantastic about herself that she deserved such a high-quality man. If she thinks that only the top 10 or 20 percent of men are marriageable, then she’s confirming rather than disproving what the Gamers think. Fourth, from her story it sounds like she’s from the “real America”—that small-town, tight-knit, generally conservative part of the country that exists between the coasts. None of the people I’ve read about in the seduction community come from those areas. They were born and raised in places where women refuse to even think about marriage before the age of 30, and are appalled at the idea of having five children or being a stay-at-home mom. I agree with her that these men put too much emphasis on “fornicating”, but that is the only value that is promoted on the coasts and the culture puts a great deal of emphasis on it. These men did not choose to sit down at their particular table, and they’re only playing the cards they’ve been dealt.

The bottom line is that we all have sexual urges, and it’s nigh impossible to restrain them indefinitely. In communities where young marriage and childbearing are verboten, these desires can only find expression in fornication. Therefore Emily’s experiences as a woman and as a young bride are completely NOT APPLICABLE to the reality faced by adult men.

LA replies:

Can someone clarify this point?

A central idea of the Gamers/Roissyites is that today’s women are not attracted to nice guys, but to bad boys, troublemakers, dangerous men.

If that’s the case, and if Game is about teaching men to behave like the type of man to whom women are attracted, then is it the case that Game teaches men, not just to come across as dominant, but to act like (and perhaps to be) bad boys, dangerous types, troublemakers, etc.?

Mark P. writes:

I will try to be a little more nuanced than BH. I don’t want to use VFR as a place to vilify women.

A big problem with Roger G.’s and Emily B.’s analysis is the belief that the actual problem is caused by men trying to date and marry out of their league. This is really not the case. After all, why is this a problem now and not in the past? I’m sure it was common in the 1950s for men to lust after unattainable “hotties,” but those same men eventually settled down to marriage and children … in their early twenties no less. You did not have the vast bulk of men unmarried well into their thirties as exist today. The problem is not getting a beauty queen. The problem is not getting anyone.

No, something else is going on. I hinted at it here.

What is even worse is that Emily B. actually confirms much of game’s basic premises. Read Emily’s description of her relationships between the ages of 17 and 20. Who was her boyfriend and eventual husband? Not the class Valedictorian; not the polished, son-of-a-preacher-man Saludictorian; but the “bad boy” slacker with the long hair, the disrespect for school, and the physicality not to only make it through boot camp, but physically defend his girl (ie., dominate other men).

But wait … it gets better.

Emily was not really attracted to her husband’s “badness.” No … no … She was attracted to his intelligence. How does she come to this conclusion? Why, she had a crush (not a relationship) on her previous class’s Valedictorian. The valedictorian was intelligent. She likes intelligent men. Therefore, her bad boy boyfriend was actually a nerd … just the like the guy she had a crush on, but no relationship with.

In other words, Emily does not in any way explain why Lee was wrong. Instead, she concocts a delusional fantasy stripping away any and all distinctions between her now-husband and Lee, and then implicitly blames Lee for not “growing up” by calling her on her behavior.

Ah … but that is not all.

A commenter, Anna, writes the following:

This is a reply to Jacob M. My daughter is 24 years old, has a full-time job, and tries to balance work, family, friends, fun. She is ready for marriage and family and is not sleeping around with the “alphas,” or the “betas.”

Her experiences within the last year include a very brief engagement with a young man holding a good overseas job (she wouldn’t mind relocating), and a relationship with a young local fellow heading for his PhD. In each case I found a word she felt was to-the-point in explaining its downfall—the young men were too “needy.” Too many phone calls; too many TMs; too much, too often.

Anna then offers the following advice:

I don’t think “gaming” is the issue here for either of you. Treating each individual as a unique individual and independent person is. It’s common sense.

So, Anna’s daughter, Ms. Unique-who-wants-a-family, displayed the common female trait of being turned off by male clinginess.

What is truly astounding is the similarity between the thinking of women posters here at VFR and the women at Roissy in DC. In fact, let’s apply Roissy’s Sixteen Commandments of ____ to Anna’s and Emily’s commentary:

For Anna’s daughter:

V. Adhere to the golden ratio

Give your woman 2/3 of everything she gives you. For every three calls or texts, give her two back. Three declarations of love earn two in return. Three gifts; two nights out. Give her two displays of affection and stop until she has answered with three more. When she speaks, you reply with fewer words. When she emotes, you emote less. The idea behind the golden ratio is twofold—it establishes your greater value by making her chase you, and it demonstrates that you have the self-restraint to avoid getting swept up in her personal dramas. Refraining from reciprocating everything she does for you in equal [or greater] measure instills in her the proper attitude of belief in your higher status. In her deepest loins it is what she truly wants.

For Emily (less perfectly):

III. You shall make your mission, not your woman, your priority

Forget all those romantic cliches of the leading man proclaiming his undying love for the woman who completes him. Despite whatever protestations to the contrary, women do not want to be “The One” or the center of a man’s existence. They in fact want to subordinate themselves to a worthy man’s life purpose, to help him achieve that purpose with their feminine support, and to follow the path he lays out. You must respect a woman’s integrity and not lie to her that she is “your everything.” She is not your everything, and if she is, she will soon not be anymore.

LA replies:

There is an element of truth in Roissy’s advice that Mark quotes, But it’s mixed up with something false and negative. To say that men need to be strong, that they need to be the leader in the relationship, and that that is what women want, is not the same thing as the deliberate manipulation that Roissy counsels. What he says is not good. The badness of Roissy simply radiates from everything he writes. And frankly, not intending disrespect to anyone, I feel that people who do not see this about Roissy have gone astray.

Evil always comes mixed with good, otherwise it would have no power to attract. So Roissy offers some things that seem helpful. But (1) Roissy is evil; and (2) whatever truly valid element there is in Roissy’s advice could be found and practiced without Roissy and his baggage.

Zachary W. writes:

“The solution, then, is for men to get more life in themselves, not to become disciples of a pornographer.”

Yes, Larry, you’ve hit the nail on the head. Roissy’s purpose is not to exalt readers with truth, but rather—like a successful pornographer—to foment anger and misogyny in men who want to luxuriate in their sexual frustration. Like all propaganda, his message is based on partial truth, but he also slanders and denigrates all women for effect. In fact, there are plenty of good women out there, women who are not naturally promiscuous (tendency to promiscuity being a heritable trait), and who certainly aren’t drawn to “thugs.” However, all women, the refined and the coarse alike, are attracted to virility and strength, especially psychic strength, which comes out naturally. So, how about, instead of trying to seem virile or strong, these guys aim to be virile and strong? But now we come to the crux of the problem. Most modern men are unwitting nihilists, who see life as essentially nothing but the pursuit of pleasure. A higher type of man, with spiritual yearnings, who decides that there is no meaning to life beyond hedonism, is a defeated man, and as such will project weakness. To compensate, these guys are drawn to memorizing all these rules to manipulate silly women who are as lost as they are. (Using “negs” on your wife? Really?) In fact, I tend to doubt these rules even work, insofar as I doubt strength is something that can be faked for more than a few minutes. If anything, learning game probably has a placebo effect, or generates confidence in indirect ways (by, e.g. encouraging hitting the gym). Or else, to “practice” game skills, some guys end up approaching more women, with some encounters ending successfully just by chance (and mutual desperation) alone. At any rate, for any refined man, hedonism is nihilistic despair, and as such, has nothing to do with saving Western civilization. In fact, it is just another exponent of its decline.

BH writes:

You wrote:

Women want to look up to a man, they want to see him as manly, heroic, romantic. But when people in this discussion say that there’s something wrong in the fact that women are not interested in a “nice, stable, provider” type, they are implying that a man does not need and should not need to be manly, interesting, and fun to win a woman.

That is actually pretty good dating advice. Unfortunately, a lot of people of authority in the churches or other institutions have been saying close to the opposite. And, as a historical matter, before women could support themselves economically just being a nice, stable provider would have been enough. So you tend to get advice from older people like, “Oh, she’ll come along. Just get a good job and buy a house.” Or Laura W.’s “Just keep moving.”

BH writes:

You wrote:

“A central idea of the Gamers/Roissyites is that today’s women are not attracted to nice guys, but to bad boys, troublemakers, dangerous men.”

Someone who is too nice and too attentive will often turn a woman off by seeming submissive. However, actually acting badly as such will not usually make her attracted to you either, though for some women it will.

Most women are attracted to strong, exciting men. How well or how badly these men act is usually quite irrelevant to how attracted they will be to these men. Bad behavior won’t usually diminish attraction and good behavior won’t usually increase it, but the reverse of both is also true.

The point is that being nice to a woman, while it won’t usually hurt, has pretty much zero power to make her attracted to you.

LA replies:

But again, is it some revelation that parts of our culture have become so fatuous that they have told young men that the main thing women want in them is that they be nice? Yes, niceness is a desirable trait, as compared with being selfish, thoughtless, unkind, emotionally unavailable, etc. But in all of history, would people have thought that niceness was the main thing in a man, the main thing for a man to strive to be?

My point, again, is that Game gets its mojo from the fact that it’s bouncing off a conventional wisdom that is insipid. But that doesn’t mean that Game is the only cure for such insipidity.

By the way, years ago I walking down Broadway and heard one woman say to another as they passed me, “Not only is he nice, but he lives on 86th Street.”

Laura W. writes:

The anger BH displays toward me is unwarranted and offensive. I take strong exception to it. His comment that he is being “misled” and fed “outright lies” is outrageous. In other words, I am deliberately giving him false advice. That is far different from arguing that I am simply wrong. I am personally insulted. I have never lied or deliberately misled anyone in any of my comments at this site.

I was responding specifically to Jacob’s complaint that he could find no women in the supposedly Christian church he was attending. A Christian culture that produces young women who are chasing guitarists and pursuing sex has failed in its mission. I was speaking to a man who judging from his comments seemed to possess some understanding of the need to be masculine. I assumed he was working with a modicum of social skills and didn’t expect results by simply appearing among women. I am not part of some faceless conspiracy of conservatives bent on gelding men and ruining their marital prospects. If my advice seems sentimental to BH that does not mean that it was offered with indifference. BH blows up and says I have been sentimental for saying goodness counts and there are women who value it. I never said goodness was sufficient if it came with no basic social aptitude. I never said that passive niceness and a good income are enough. I was not offering full-blown dissertation on finding a mate. I stand by my claim that goodness matters and that there are useful ways of marketing oneself. I don’t think Roissyism is a good source for those marketing tips. Go ahead and find a woman by deceit. Good luck to you. She will someday be the mother of your children.

LA replies:

I also was somewhat taken aback by the vehemence of BH’s denunciations of various commenters’ advice, and perhaps I should have edited his comment more than I did. I did soften one phrase of his, and since the subject of his anger has now come up, I’ll tell you what it was. He didn’t say that he was “annoyed.” He said he was “p___ed off.” Again, this seemed way excessive, since there wasn’t anything positively wrong in Laura’s advice, it seemed pretty sensible. BH’s criticisms of it was that it wasn’t what he sees as the right advice . But since when is a failure to see the right answer (which most people don’t see) the occasion of such censure and such anger? So BH’s response was excessive.

Which tells me something about BH’s original comment which I sensed but didn’t put my finger on at the time. Part of the Gamers’ message is that the whole society up to this point, particularly conservatives, has been actively keeping them down, deliberately keeping men from their real power—the power that has now been revealed to them by Roissy-god. Men have been oppressed by conservatives such as Laura giving them inadequate advice. There is a strong strain of victimology in the Gamers’ attitude. Men have been victimized and fooled by the system. Haven’t we heard Gamers or Game defenders say that they were promised all their lives that if they were nice and played by the rules they would find a girl, and now they realize that they were lied to, and they’re not going to take it any more and they’re throwing over the traces and following Roissy-god? So Game means rejecting everything that has come before. From which it gets its ersatz revolutionary tinge.

Also, I wasn’t thinking of Laura or anyone in particular when I criticized the idea that being a nice provider ought to be enough. In fact, I can’t figure out if that is a criticism of the Gamers or of their critics. After all, it’s the Gamers (or people defending the Game) who seem to be saying, “Society told me to be nice provider, and that doesn’t work. Roissy tells me to be dominating and manipulative, and that works.” Whereas the critics of Game, like Emily, are saying, “A man doesn’t need Game to be a spark!”

August 24

Roger G. writes:

BH: Now I’m annoyed.

Roger G.: Tough.

BH: What really makes a man angry and resentful is not failing to get a date…, but…

Roger G.: What really makes a man angry and resentful is failing to get a date. I have tested this hypothesis.

BH: [D]uring my dateless years I enjoyed my books and my art thoroughly…

Roger G.: I’ll bet you did. I myself liked playing football, baseball and rugby. But as the rabbi says to the priest (at the end of the joke): “You should try women; they’re even better than bacon.”

BH: …being misled by the bad dating advice, useless platitudes, and outright lies of the kind being promulgated on your site…[W]e are very resentful of all the sanctimonious people who have misled us or told us it was all because we just weren’t good enough, when that clearly was not the case….I honestly feel utterly betrayed by many of the people in supposedly conservative circles who have dispensed the kind of atrocious advice here being promulgated.

Roger G.: You do a lot of blaming of other people for your inability to have attracted women who interest you. Now that you can attract them, please pick one, marry her, and have lots of children to help repopulate the West.

Anyway, I didn’t even give any dating advice to men, only to women. I told them to exercise hard and lose the weight; definition is really beautiful. Now for men: learn to dance. Women love men knowing how to dance.

I should be syndicated.

Richard P. writes:

You wrote:

“But again, is it some revelation that parts of our culture have become so fatuous that they have told young men that the main thing women want in them is that they be nice? Yes, niceness is a desirable trait, as compared with being selfish, thoughtless, unkind, emotionally unavailable, etc. But in all of history, would people have thought that niceness was the main thing in a man, the main thing for a man to strive to be?’

The culture isn’t telling men to be nice—it is telling men to be submissive. Nice is the word women and men use because it is far less insulting. Men under 40 have been overwhelmed with cultural cues (and even laws) telling them to submit to women, don’t cause offense, don’t stand up for yourself, apologize for everything, move Heaven and Earth to make her happy. They are being compelled to behave toward women in a way that is distinctly unmasculine. And women are not attracted to men who behave this way—they characterize it as “nice” or “needy” or “clingy”. These men are doing exactly what most women say they want, and are being rejected over and over until they can take no more. They want marriage and family and can’t even get a date, yet they see “bad boys” and thugs who are surrounded by women. They are saying “What’s going on here?”. And how do we traditionalists respond?

Well, Aaron S. suggests that these men should consider celibacy as a second choice for their own honor and the greater good. If conservatism means telling millions of young men that they may have no opportunity for marriage and family, and that they should accept this, then our civilization is dead right now. Marriage and family are the underpinning of civilization. They are the source of future generations. You are in effect telling them that “You will have no future generations, but you should accept that and continue to be invested in society”. Let’s abandon these men to their fate because the discussion will be messy and involve some amoral people.

But it appears that abandoning the field is exactly what you want. In the latest post you say:

“Thus, in the last 14 hours, the debate on Game has moved dramatically toward closure…..One more world-saving materialist ideology ends up in the junkyard of history.”

Let’s not talk about this further. Let’s not think about how to counteract a feminist worldview that is keeping many men single and unhappy, and the potential societal ramifications that arise. We can see the logical contradictions in “game”, so let’s just dismiss it as the latest Bauhaus inspired lunacy and move along. The whole thing is foul.

And Roissy will gain more and more followers because there’s nobody else showing them a different way. We’ll abandon the field here.

LA replies:

Excellent point about meaning of nice. Something like that was simmering in my brain, I knew that “nice” as it was being used in these discussions about betas didn’t mean what “nice” used to mean, and you’ve made it clear.

As for your larger question, our side has offered sensible alternatives, which aim at the same good that Game claims to aim at, but without the baggage. Just read the thread again. However, I agree that the appeal of a slick materialist theory—Do this, and then do this, and that leads to this, all in a nice package, and you get to have sexual conquests at the same time—will always have an appeal that non-systematic common sense and goodness will not have. But the same is true of all kinds of false theories for the improvement of mankind, such as liberalism itself. But the false cannot be sustained for the long term. And, given its manifest contradictions, I don’t think Game (as a societal theory, not as a pickup technique) is sustainable in the short term.

The fact that someone is offering a solution doesn’t mean the solution is true—something that people often forget. On the morning of July 3, 1863 on the battlefield at Gettysburg, Robert E. Lee thought that sending Pickett’s division across a mile of open ground against the Union line was the solution to his battle problem. It wasn’t true, but he thought it HAD to be true, because he could see no other alternative. From 2001 through 2008, George W. Bush thought that spreading democracy among Muslims was the solution to Muslim extremism. It wasn’t true, but he thought it HAD to be true, because, well, we had tried alliances with despots, and that hadn’t worked, so democracy HAD to work.

And this is the way the human mind works, or rather the way it doesn’t work. It hears some plan that sounds plausible, that seems to fit together, and it subscribes to it, without asking if it really fits reality.

Laura W. writes:

I was wondering if Richard P. could offer any statistical support for his statement that millions of men are going to go without marriage and family involuntarily. If this is true there should be large numbers of those men now. In my own experience, the vast majority of men over 30 who want to be married are. I know a far greater number of women over 30 who want to be married and are not. I have never in my life met a man who wanted to get married and entered old age without finding a wife.

Richard P. replies to LA:

I agree that game is not sustainable societally. But we’re still left with this problem—millions of stable successful men, men who would normally be the backbone of traditionalism in any culture, have found themselves unmarriageable in our post-feminist society by behaving exactly as that society tells them they should. Libertines playboys have always existed but, like with Casanova, were generally shunned by polite society (if not eventually meeting a violent end). In our current society, these playboys suffer few consequences for their actions. They are now becoming the mentors and guides for many of the unmarriageable men mentioned before.

We need an alternative to offer. Saying that “Game has contradictions and is unsustainable” is cold comfort for these men regardless of its truth. Game is the building of a facade, but the heart of that facade is a form of masculinity. That is the key here. Gintas says, “What we need is a “Civilized Western Man Boot Camp,” where we turn these Gamers into men.”

He’s close. Let’s forget the gamers and de-Roissy this a bit. What we need is a boot camp to teach these supposedly unmarriageable men to behave as men. Teach them to act masculine and to drop the submissive and apologetic behavior around women, and the women will follow. Then they’ll have no reason to listen to the gamers to begin with.

Richard P. replies to Laura W.:
Yep. How about Rutgers University’s “National Marriage Project” which tracks marriage statistics going back almost half a century? The percentage of men between 35-44 who were or had been married was 89.3 percent in 1970. In 2007 it was 69.1 percent. There were 21.5 million men in that demographic in 2007, which means there were five million fewer men married than would have been had the 1970 rate continued. The marriage rates for women declined at about the same rate (for obvious mathematical reasons). This is only for the 35-44 demographic.

Now we don’t know the precise reasons for the marriage rate drop, which is why there’s been so much speculation and discussion here. Anecdotally, Laura W. says she knows plenty of women of 30 who claim they want to be married. I do too. In my case, I hear constant whining and moaning from these women about boyfriends who won’t commit and only stick around for sex. Those same women are surrounded by single successful men and never show the slightest interest in any of them, except as “friends.” A lot of those men are the ones I mentioned who are just checking out of dating altogether.

If x number of women between 30-40 are unmarried, then a very similar number of men will be too. Most people marry within their general age demographic. Language makes up part of the problem in what Laura W. is describing. She says she has never met a man who wanted to get married and wasn’t. The reason she doesn’t know any over-30 year old men wishing they were married is because they generally don’t talk that way. I know plenty of who wish they were, but they’ve never expressed it in those terms. That’s not what guys do.

Richard P. writes:

One last thing. I’ve been following this via email today rather than the thread on the site, so I’ve missed parts of the discussion today. I like your analogy to Gettysburg. I’d like to add to that though. Lee’s solution was wrong. Pickett’s Charge was a disaster. But Lee’s analysis of the problem was right. The Union did hold the high ground at a strategic junction. Likewise, the Roissyites solution may be amoral and nihilistic with pretty damaging consequences for society, but I think their analysis of the problem is accurate. Much of the broad male middle-class is seeing their opportunity for family creation evaporate in this era because the old rules of courtship no longer apply. Just because they have the wrong solution doesn’t mean we should ignore the problem.

Or as I said to a friend in a different context, “Just because Trotsky was a commie nutjob doesn’t mean he was wrong about Stalin.”

Emily B. replies to LA’s earlier comment:

This is truly wonderful and you certainly captured it in your comments about men getting life into them and having a “spark.”

I quickly want to defend myself against one of the comments. I chose not to explain in more detail why I rejected and chose whom I did due to an already lengthy email, so here it goes:

Lee was a talker who loved the business world. From my very first crush in the fourth grade, I have been attracted to intellectually gifted guys who seemed to be oriented towards math and science. My father was a radio and electronics guy in the Army. On my father’s side, the men are very “German” and are engineers, physicists and other scientists. Like marries like.

The Valedictorian was too timid and didn’t ask me out. He would walk me to class, but I was extremely shy and, frankly, found men incredibly intimidating. If I could have been less shy and able to meet him halfway, perhaps we would have been a couple. My feelings were killed for him, however, when I found out he had a one night stand. After I got over the hurt, that part of my heart was completely empty.

My husband is a human calculator. The moment I fell for him was when he uttered “23” in class to an algebra problem that he had figured out instantly in his head to the utter astonishment of the class. I can still hear it in my head and it is pure music.

Laura W. replies:

Those are interesting statistics supplied by Richard P. Thank you. I don’t mean to be difficult, but I’d have to look at them further to know how many of those unmarried men are cohabitating with women; how many are practicing homosexuals; and how many desire marriage.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at August 23, 2009 10:40 PM | Send

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