Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Alpha Mail: the value of feminine virtue

AD is having trouble balancing her admiration for the male virtues with being a woman:
I have to thank you for changing my life. I stumbled across your blogs this past July and they have radically altered my thinking. I am a full believer in HBD and the socio-sexual hierarchy, etc.

On that note-- I've had a hard time adjusting. In the past I've drafted emails to you that I never sent, seeking advice on what to do with myself if I'm not supposed to be assertive, or to take on leadership roles, or... just any of the things I'm used to doing that are masculine. I've had a hard time realizing that everything I liked about myself was masculine, but I am, in fact, a girl. Until yesterday, when I found Part 1 of that Saving SF from Strong Female Characters essay, I had a hard time imagining that women were good for anything. I've been so wrapped up in these ideas of solipsism and hypergamy and everything else that makes women women as Ultimate Evils and I haven't known what to do with myself, or how to reconcile it all. Part of it, I think, is the feminist indoctrination that really taught me that femininity is lame and everything good and to be aspired to is masculine. I appreciated Wright's discussion of feminine strength: even though I'm still not 100% on board with it, it is a comfort to think that there's something potentially strong, or decent or good, about femininity.

Would you blog about the traits a decent Christian woman should develop, which are feminine in nature? And also, which things to NOT do, which are masculine in nature? I am a fan of conforming to reality and reality happens to involve gender roles. I've always known that, but now that I'm trying to implement it, I find myself at a loss. The one thing that Game blogs make very clear is the importance of appearance, and I 100% agree, and I take care of my body. But beyond that, what character traits are there that I should be developing? What more masculine traits should I be avoiding? I feel like every thing that I like about myself--directness and assertiveness and intelligence and so on--are basically supposed to be used by men and not women... so I don't know what to do, except maybe try to be less aggressive and more passive-aggressive in my life. I will admit I am a pretty aggressive person. But the idea of cultivating passive-aggression doesn't sit that well with me at this point. It's one of my least favorite aspects of humans and one reason I've always hated hanging out with other girls.

Just in case it matters, I'm a 25-year-old white woman--been married for five years this month. Earned my degree in soil chemistry when I was 20. I'm 12 weeks postpartum with my 2nd kid. I've been a SAHM for almost three years now. Ever since I started high school, I've been the default leader of every group I've belonged to--not because I necessarily wanted to lead, but because people would just turn to me like I was supposed to lead them, and strategic thinking and delegation come very naturally to me (but should I be deferring to men to do that?). I go to church every week, study scriptures and pray every day, and am thoroughly convinced of my need to start being more feminine. I just don't know where to start, beyond taming my gloriously post-partum figure.

Thanks for everything, again. You really have changed my life. You've made it a lot harder, admittedly--but it's for the better. Thanks for introducing me to reality.
I think I'm going to have to break my response into several parts. Consider this the introduction. Let's start by looking at something very basic: intelligence. AD is obviously intelligent, she values intelligence, but at the same time, being a woman, she is naturally hypergamous. So, this means that she's simultaneously a) attracted to men who are more intelligent than she is, and b) insulted by the idea that men might be attracted to women who are less intelligent than they are.

Catch-22. Do you see the intrinsic problem there?

This intelligence-related dichotomy is AD's problem writ small. And this is why she shouldn't ever wish to be what she is not. To be a man requires more than exhibiting male traits, it also involves valuing what men value. AD is making the classic female mistake of conflating the possession of a trait and the valuing of it in others, thereby setting herself up to violate the "opposites attract" rule.

Where to start? I think by first attempting to intellectually grasp the difference between being and being attracted. AD might be aggressive, but I very much doubt that like an aggressive man, she is very attracted to submissive members of the opposite sex. Once she grasps that essential difference, she should be able to take the next step and begin understanding that it is not at all important to develop the masculine virtues in herself that she values in others, but rather the feminine virtues that her husband values in her.

I will address what those feminine virtues are in a future post.

20 comments:

cailcorishev said...

What struck me is that she sees passive-aggressiveness as the opposite of aggressiveness, but that's not the case at all. Passive-aggressiveness is still aggressiveness, just wrapped in fake passivity. The positive feminine counterpart to masculine aggressiveness is something more like tranquility. Not passivity, but a sense of peacefulness and enough confidence in her femininity that she doesn't have to be in your face about it.

buzzardist said...

AD sounds like she is already in a position of relative balance in her life, despite being a young age. She's married, has kids, and has formed many connections around herself. So does she actually have a problem?

I suspect that there is a lurking problem here. The fact that she's e-mailing for help suggests that she's not content in something. AD doesn't say much about her marriage, but that might be one place to look. Are both people happy in the marriage? Are they both satisfied in their roles, and will they continue to be satisfied in those roles. AD, as Vox said, needs to develop the feminine virtues that her husband values in her, but is her husband mature and solid enough as a man to know what feminine virtues he wants (or needs)? A lot of men have been brainwashed into thinking they should want certain qualities in women, and it takes some men years, decades, a failed marriage or two, or worse to finally figure out that what they'd been taught to want was not at all what they wanted or needed. Shoot, many men never figure this out, and they remain unhappy throughout their lives because of it.

So AD's task might be a little complicated. She needs not just to be what her husband wants (or needs), but she needs to be so in a way that also encourages her husband to be the man that he ought to be.

When AD talks about qualities like directness, assertiveness, and intelligence being masculine, too, she might be failing to recognize that women can (and should) possess such traits. To use them successfully, however, a woman needs to use them in the right contexts and situations as a woman. Being assertive and intelligent like a man will almost certainly inflict unhappiness on AD and her family. Being assertive and intelligent as a woman will produce very different results. It's about discerning the right contexts and company in which to assert oneself and doing so in the right way. If AD is trying to assert her intelligence in a way that makes her husband look less so, she's messing up terribly. If she expresses intelligence more subtly in ways that build a husband's masculine confidence, she may find such qualities quite rewarding in her marriage.

PVW said...

I don't think that in the Bible there is any admonition against a woman being intelligent, ie., as per the discussion in Proverbs 31 about what it means to be a good wife: industrious, capable, demure, even humble, calm, loyal and devoted to her husband and family. I think this can be accomplished if women who are intelligent jettison the Western feminist mantra that they should become like men and be "aggressive," as the poster described it. If anything, I think this balance can be found, and has been found, among men who have dated highly accomplished women from more traditionalist subcultural North American groups and societies elsewhere. They might be highly accomplished, but they are not aggressive about it. These women were raised to believe that their accomplishments are good, in that they bring pride and value to their families of origin, and that these should be of value to their future families, but that it is equally important that they cultivate the feminine skills and virtues necessary for being a good wife and mother.

SarahsDaughter said...

Cail, you're right. Tranquility, contentment, calmness of spirit, gentleness, graciousness etc. You're not alone, AD, these are the traits many of us, ladies, work on cultivating in an ongoing manner. Be patient with yourself, and honest with yourself about the changes, it all won't happen overnight. You've made a great start! Congratulations on baby number 2!

cailcorishev said...

Buzzardist, I was thinking the same thing. She married at 20, dropped out of the careerist rat race at 22-23, and has two kids at 25. How many "aggressive" women follow that path? Sounds like she's already doing many of the big things right. Maybe some of this is that she's second-guessing those choices -- certainly the surrounding culture would constantly pressure her to do so -- and that's making her resistant to giving up the aggression that was part of that previous life.

One thing about being intelligent is that people are drawn to it; and as she says, they tend to look to you for leadership, even if you have no particular interest or aptitude for leadership. But it's possible to sidestep that and use your intelligence in ways other than leading groups.

Vox said...

It might be useful for AD to consider that the way she is thinking about feminine traits is more or less how men think of masculine traits in women. We find them downright sexually repellent.

We might admire the big, bold Alpha male who roars "follow me" as he charges the enemy machine gun nest, but he holds less than zero sexual attraction for us.

PVW said...

Maybe some of this is that she's second-guessing those choices -- certainly the surrounding culture would constantly pressure her to do so -- and that's making her resistant to giving up the aggression that was part of that previous life.

My thoughts: Putting aside the aggression aspect and any fears that she faces criticism from the greater feminist culture, don't forget that even though she seems to be a woman that is doing much that is right, the growing influence of the Manosphere in criticizing feminist culture is starting to make her misjudge herself, that to be an intelligent and capable woman is altogether wrong. That is why I think it is important to discern and cull through what is really relevant to one's life and situation.

罗臻 said...

What does leadership actually mean here? Being in charge and organized is not the same thing as being a leader.

Brad Andrews said...

I prefer that my wife be aggressive in some areas, especially when following my leadership. She is not called to submit to all males, just me. The overall attitude is important, but I would rather have a wife who would strive for what her family needs (in proper balance) than one who is more passive and a kind of fake femininity.

Context and situation are also important.

Crowhill said...

Since AD is a church-goer, I recommend that she find an older woman in her congregation she respects and invite her over for coffee.

Amy G said...

If AD sees this, I would highly recommend checking out Sunshine Mary.s blog. It has helped me tremendously, as I also struggle with aggressiveness and stepping back to leave that up to my husband. Her advice and guidance for women looking to become godly wives is invaluable.

Scott6584 said...

There is a big difference in being aggressive and being disagreeable. I would much rather my wife be "aggressive" than "passive-aggressive. The key is not being disagreeable, but instead being pleasant. And the key to being pleasant is managing your expectations of others so that you can remain pleasant even when they fail to live up to what might be reasonable expectations. This requires fostering an acceptance of others as they are - not necessarily an easy task, but very definitely a feminine quality. Picture a mother who loves and accepts her children unconditionally - and then expand that attitude to include others.

AD should not attempt to fundamentally change who she is. That is a fool's errand. Instead of focusing on changing herself, she should get her eyes off of herself, and onto others. Developing an empathy and compassion for others will occupy her time so much, that she will begin to change how she relates to others as a by-product. The issue is who to focus upon. As long as AD continues to focus on herself first, then she will experience failure. When she starts focusing on others first, most importantly her husband, then her children, then she will naturally start developing the feminine/motherly traits she longs to develop. And she doesn't have to try to diminish her intelligence or ability, but instead, she can apply them to lifting up others instead of herself.

aeolipera said...

Two cents.

Her biography and writing style strongly suggest melon front, neanderthal back. This stuff is still in development, but it suggests, in turn, small-tribe orientation and large-tribe social hardware (short bursts of charisma and general likability). The latter is the means by which she must pursue the latter. People see her face and automatically fall in line behind her (due to genetic archetypes).

An adaptive strategy would optimize her hardware in a feminine context. She'd make an excellent school administrator, for instance.

Markku said...

Yes, women do tend to have a melon front...

JCclimber said...

Feminine virtues are not unknowable. Between Proverbs 31 and the writings of Paul on the subject, we have an excellent idea of what they are. We also know how to get them. Are the manly virtues instantaneously transmitted to us upon puberty? No, we have to develop them through hard, painful work. Most women are not used to the high degree of effort needed to reach a high bar, because society lately has given them a vagina pass on almost every standard.

Oops. God doesn't give vagina passes. Saved by grace. Judged by works.

I look forward to Vox's exposition on the topic of acquiring/cultivating the feminine virtues.

I'd say the biggest flaw most women today need to work on is how to publicly support and enhance their husband, rather than denigrate, belittle, and challenge him. If nothing else, keep yer trap shut and just slide your hand under his arm or rest your head on his shoulder now and then. Silently smile at him while he is talking to others. While keeping yer trap shut.
Sounds easy. Very few modern Amerikan women seem to be capable of doing it, however. I think it would be easier for them to gargle with gasoline.

peoplegrowing said...

I very much look forward to Vox's writing on the subject, but in the mean time, I would like to echo one commenter's direction to SunshineMary's blog. SSM's writings cover a wide gamut, but there's a lot of good womanhood stuff in there, if you are inclined to focus. It's pretty much all worth reading. Also, Dalrock has some excellent posts, and has given excellent advice on this subject before, particularly one post to a woman who wrote in on tips for how to help her husband be a better leader.

One word of advice I will personally give the writer, as I have fallen prey to the same line of thought, is not to let yourself get too carried away with the faults we women are prone to. The manosphere focuses a great deal on the flaws of female nature because such is discussed pretty much no where else. It can be easy to get to the point where this is all we see. We should not pretend that these things are not part of our base nature, but we should also remember that we are more than our base natures. And forewarned is forearmed. Knowing these pitfalls should help you to look out for them and avoid them, not turn you into a paranoid person.

Remember that while the commenters on the blogs vary (although I'm not too familiar with the commenters here; I don't mean to cast stones) many, many of the major contributors of the sphere really do love women and speak out, as a warning to men not to be caught unawares, but also in a bid to hold a mirror up to us ladies, so that we can improve ourselves as well.

Anyhow, I'm pretty new at working out all this too, so I don't want to risk leading you astray by rationalizing. I hope this is useful, and will keep you (and me!) on the straight and narrow, and not give either of us room to wander, but encourage us to be peaceful as we go.

LP 999/Eliza said...

This is very helpful, continue on. I feel for AD in the post partum issues, with some time, hopefully things will be ok. And there is much to be happy about; a good marriage and a growing family. What a beautiful life.

verusconditio said...

even though I'm still not 100% on board with it

What aren't you on board with and why?

Others above have covered the passive aggressiveness that you talk about. As they said, it's not attractive in either sex. So, too, did they cover that directness, assertiveness and intelligence are not bad female traits. It's that women must make use of them in a very different way than men do. One can be direct, yet gentle. One can be assertive without being brazen about obviously women can be intelligent. It's just that it's not the sign of status we once thought it was.

You said that you are a pretty aggressive person. As a rather physically aggressive person myself, I highly recommend that you do not try to fully suppress these tendencies in yourself. Rather, find ways in which it is acceptable to be aggressive. Lift weights, go to the shooting range, join a sports team. If you try to suppress it instead of giving it a respectable outlet, it will build up on you.

There are quite of few women here who have been where you are in one way or another. Your first step, and probably you most difficult, you've past. You've realized the truth. The next step, for many women, is letting go. Submitting and trusting your husband in everything. From there, you might be surprised how most things start to come to you naturally. Getting there can be quite a battle, though.

Good luck with this AD. Don't be afraid to ask questions. There are many people willing to help.

~ Stingray

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