Gotcha! Sort Of
Friday’s post, as you have all figured out by now, was a prank.
But don’t feel bad if you got taken in. The story leading up to my fictional marriage is easy to believe, since it closely matches a common reality. I was also careful to include some well-crafted rationalizations to make my reconciliation of matrimony and man-o-sphere more believable:
“… my life is an example of how contemporary young men, who are smart enough to learn game, take control of their lives, and avoid the common mistakes of beta men, are still able to experience the joy, love, stability and family that our grandfathers had.”
See? Marriage is a bad idea for LOSER men, but cool dudes like ME have nothing to fear! Ho ho ho.
Jokes aside, I think that attitude will become a common trope among men who, having discovered the dark arts of game and men’s issues, really should know better. It’s a lot easier to avoid monogamy when you’re young, surrounded by college girls, and all of your friends are similarly invested in the pursuit of fresh puss.
But things change when you leave school. Getting laid isn’t necessarily harder, but it requires a new skill set. If you’ve spent four years having hot girls handed to you on a platter because you were in a frat, on a varsity team, in a band, or occupying some other easily-exploitable niche in the sexual ecosystem, adjusting to a world where you have to work for your food might not be easy.
Because of this, a lot of men begin a steady descent into mediocrity when they leave school and enter the grown-up world. They get chubby. They realize they never learned how to approach. Their mind-numbing careers chip away at their souls and erode the irresistible sparkle in their eyes. When they find a decent girl to date, they commit unhesitantly, lacking the courage and manly confidence to realize they’re capable of doing better.
All of a sudden, settling down becomes a lot more tempting. All of the man’s friends are doing it. His family wants him to do it. She wants to do it.
Suddenly, he finds himself asking: Who cares about all that crap he used to read when he was a kid? Grown-ups get married and start families. That’s just how it’s done.
And so another man joins the ranks of beaten-down, over-worked, near-celibate drones, screaming silently in quiet desperation until death mercifully rescues him from the nagging, chiding, cubicle walls, and mortgage payments.
Millions of men, even some who are fully aware of the legal and biological reality of the divorce industry and female hypergamy, will eventually sign their lives away in one-sided marriage contracts. Some will be lucky and live decent lives, free of divorce lawyers, false domestic abuse accusations, infidelity and unjust child custody rulings. Most will not.
So why will these men sign up for their fate? In a word: Fear.
They’re afraid of being alone. They’re afraid that their women will leave them if they don’t spend two months salary on a hunk of carbon. They’re afraid that if one particular woman leaves, they’ll never find another that’s as good or better. The fear makes them revert to the psychological safety of doing what they’ve been taught, and what almost everyone else is doing.
Here’s a classic psych experiment: Put a man in a room slowly filling with smoke, and he’ll sit through it complacently as long as he’s surrounded by others who are doing the same. He knows what smoke is. He knows what it’s presence implies. But the fear of being the nail that sticks out prevents him from saving himself, or even better, yelling “Fire!” and saving those around him as well.
My April Fool’s post was a joke. But it’s also a wake-up call, an attempt to yell “Fire!” in the smokey room we all share. I really can’t stress this enough: Getting married to an archetypal North American woman today is a terrible idea for almost every man alive.
But getting married isn’t the only stupid mistake you can make as a young man in the 21st century.
This clip (HT: Captain Capitalism) will move all but the most hardened of internet tough guys. Similar to Solomon’s classic post, Women Can Age Beautifully, it shows us what our generation is missing out on. it shows us what our Grandfathers had, and what we never will. That’s gotta hurt.
Of course, there are privileges we have that our Grandfathers didn’t. Casual sex, open relationships and a carefree lifestyle of perpetual adolescence are all easier to come by and more socially acceptable than they ever were. Sure, I get a little misty while watching the Up clip, but would I, personally, be willing to trade the sexual debauchery of the 21st century for the companionate stability of the 19th? Probably not. (Then again, I’m twenty-five. Ask me in a decade.)
But really, who cares what my answer is? The question is purely academic. In the world as it is, the Pixar life is not on the table. The men who delude themselves otherwise will pay for their gullibility.
Self-deception can take many forms, though. Some men are stupidly romantic. Others are stupidly unromantic.
Lots of men, reeling at the sad state of love and marriage in the early 21st century, have retreated into isolation. They stifle their desires to experience intimacy. If they feel themselves becoming vulnerable in a woman’s presence, they fight it, because falling in love leads to betaization and thus weakness. They deny themselves one of life’s greatest pleasures, because allowing themselves to love gives someone else the opportunity to hurt them. Many will never have children and families.
Me, I want the best of both worlds. No, I’m not a self-deceiving twit throwing his life away to marry Carrie Bradshaw, as a literal reading of my April Fool’s post would suggest. But I’m also not the complete antithesis, i.e, a cold-hearted PUA archetype. Even the men who posture as such usually aren’t. Human biomechanics compels us to seek love. If your perspective on sex and women denies this, perhaps you haven’t ingested a red pill at all – just a different sort of blue one.
There was actually a fair bit of truth to my April Fool’s post.
For example, I really do have a girlfriend, of sorts, right now. This description in the original post is completely true:
“We met in high school. Circumstances were complicated by the fact that I had a girlfriend, she had a boyfriend, and her boyfriend had a girlfriend, but we had fun dating for a few months. We parted ways for our undergraduate years, and launched into the college hook-up scene for the next four years. We usually slept with each other on school vacations and occasionally throughout our summers.
After that, I went to grad school and she went on a journey around the world to find herself, figure out who she was, and have some fun before settling into an adult life.”
(Although to be fair, she probably wouldn’t describe her post-undergrad year abroad in such Gilbertian terms.)
I suppose I could disregard her as a prospect for anything more than a one-night stand because she’s slept with other guys, and because she’s picked up some self-involved, un-feminine traits from a lifetime of western cultural indoctrination. But, like all good Freedom Twenty-Five readers, she is committed to self-improvement. She grudgingly accepts that 1) We will never get married, 2) We will never live together, and 3) I will never be monogamous.
Also, she’s smoking hot, smart, sweet and fun. She treats me like gold, cooks my meals, cleans up after me, irons my shirts, and is great with my friends and family. She makes more money than I do and pays for at least her fair share of expenses in our relationship. She’s one of my best friends, and I’m in love with her.
The idea that some women are worthy of love is a controversial one in the jaded depths of the manosphere. A large number of men have been rendered, by vicious divorces or lifelong celibacy, unable and unwilling to have healthy relationships with women. I won’t judge these men, since I can’t know what their experiences would have done to me. But I do think they’re misguided.
The challenge for young men today – and the topic that I plan to make my primary focus in the next few months – is finding a path that avoids the twin fallacies of gynocentric conventional wisdom on one hand, and the angry, bitter defeatism that characterizes much of the Men’s Rights Movement on the other.