The Mythical Unicorn

Costa_Rica_Unicorn_2800px.jpg
A rare unicorn, spotted in Costa Rica

Brother Ballista has made the claim that Marriage Is A Feminist Tool Used Against Men. The underlying (and popular) premise is that All Women Are Like That—feminists to the core. Marriage is their tool and should be avoided. It follows that there are no unicorns, no Not All Women Are Like That.

Recently Brother Jason noted:

“Some men MGTOW until they do meet the unicorn and become like the men out there with prefect marriages.”

Such men avoid marriage until they evaluate the risks, weigh the options, and choose carefully. They select that unicorn* or no one at all. This reflects a common—perhaps even normative—way of thinking in the ‘sphere.

This is a solid plan, but is it realistic? Can or should we expect the majority of men to ignore the biological imperative to pair up and have children? I don’t think so and I am not alone. Considering other options is emphatically not man-shaming, a call to “man up”, or a warrant to enter marriage blindly.

Publicly, I will describe my strengths and weaknesses in marriage and my wife’s strengths, but I don’t specifically discuss her weaknesses. This gives the false appearance that I have a “perfect marriage” to a NAWALT.

The (N)AWALT meme essentially focuses on the negatives without considering the positives. The NAWALT (the perfect woman with no negatives) and the AWALT (the always evil every woman) are caricatures. Real women, just like men, have strengths and weaknesses.

The irony is that it’s trivial to prove—both anecdotally and as a group—that many women make great wives. It’s also trivial to prove that many women destroy the lives of men. Examples of these, and those in between, are easily found across age, religion, and ethnicity.

There is a place for discussing the negatives, but no relationship can survive a primary focus on negatives. Focusing on the benefits changes your perspective. I don’t have a NAWALT, I have a relationship with many different categories of benefits that far outweigh the downsides. We work through our problems, but we live through our strengths.

My wife has held certain feminist-inspired viewpoints. Do they end our relationship? Of course not. She can have her own opinions and it isn’t the end of the world. Compromise is a vital marital component. She’s not a unicorn because she’s perfect, she’s a unicorn because we don’t toss out those benefits because of a few negatives. We actually like and appreciate each other.

Marriage has always consisted of two imperfect people pairing up and finding a way to make it work. This didn’t begin or end with feminism. You try hard to find the right woman, but the work doesn’t end there. The relationship is dynamic. She’ll change and you’ll change. The latter is hard to accept.

Compromise, trade-offs, and changes cannot safely be avoided. Feminism has taught women that if they are unhappy or do not have perfection, then they should bail out and look for it elsewhere. This cancer is just as bad when men embrace it in their search for women. Goose and gander.

Throwing away the basis for society—marriage and family—because women are not perfect is worse than misguided. Throwing away the basis for society because it is difficult to find a good match is equally mistaken. It’s smart to be selective about who to marry, but avoiding marriage entirely is not a solution. You can’t destroy civilization to save it.

You marry because the benefits you receive will outweigh the negatives you’ll choose to accept. Expecting a marriage without negatives is unrealistic. That unicorn you married will have spots and blemishes. It turns out that this is okay. The unicorn was always a myth anyway.


* Or get lucky

 Ballista’s assertions to the contrary are mistaken.

 Contrast this with those men and women who advocate and hold absolute, uncompromising, binary positions (e.g. All women this, every women that; no this or that is possible).

16 thoughts on “The Mythical Unicorn”

  1. You have described a realistic, yet positive perspective, which we don’t hear enough of in these times.

    It should be mentioned that Ballista is not married. Being married puts a lot of skin in the game that requires major psychological and relational adjustments. Having a conducive attitude is a significant trait that can determine whether one will have the opportunity to marry. That goes for both men and women too.

  2. Derek:

    This is a great article, and it’s an example of the sort of clearheaded thinking that young men need to adopt.

    The (N)AWALT meme essentially focuses on the negatives without considering the positives. The NAWALT (the perfect woman with no negatives) and the AWALT (the always evil every woman) are caricatures. Real women, just like men, have strengths and weaknesses.

    A long time ago, I noted a weird similarity, between anonymous commenters on Dalrock and The Spearhead, and the people I was (then) in a graduate program with.

    Mathematicians comprise a certain constellation of personality types, who seem explicitly unable to appreciate life’s gray areas. It was very common to see squabbles about nonsensical minutia, that no normal person would really care about.

    The only other discipline which approaches this level of dysfunction are philosophers. I speculate that philosophy attracts the same types, because every philosopher has to be good at mathematical logic. Even so, people in very similar fields (physicists, linguists, etc.) don’t kook out this way.

    Is it latent asperger’s, or just a proclivity toward assholishness? I don’t know. Sort of interesting, though.

    Boxer

  3. “…explicitly unable to appreciate life’s gray areas”

    You see it among religious zealots who, I suppose, are a bit like philosophers and mathematicians: interested in rules, order, correctness, and such. You see it among political zealots who, I suppose, are quite a bit like religious zealots.

    I’ve noticed the problem for a long time, but I’ve never developed a thesis to explain it.

  4. Feminism has taught women that if they are unhappy or do not have perfection, then they should bail out and look for it elsewhere.

    I’m going to have to push back on Derek here because that’s not the landscape

    Feminism has taught women that not only should they be rebellious to all lawful male authority (God, father, husband)…but that they’ll get rewarded handsomely (in the short term) for doing it. They don’t even see the need to compromise.

    The reason why a lot of men will avoid marriage or will discern carefully for a spouse is because many women overall are rebellious. It’s not a rare occurrence or a here and there thing…for many it’s their modus operandi. We all have spells of rebellion so that’s why I don’t consider anyone a unicorn or perfect…but if they consider that a lifestyle that’s a problem for marriage. I’d be willing to ask Derek on a scale of 1-10 how submissive is his wife to his authority (since he won’t point out weaknesses…I’ll ask about strengths).

  5. @earl

    I’m not sure if I fully agree with your thesis. Not all (or even most) marital conflict is about rebellion. Perhaps it plays a large role in the marriages destined for dissolution, but not necessarily other marriages. Bear with me and I’ll try to discuss this in a future post.

    “I’d be willing to ask Derek on a scale of 1-10 how submissive is his wife to his authority”

    This is a very difficult thing to quantify. Consider what Boxer wrote:

    “…a certain constellation of personality types, who seem explicitly unable to appreciate life’s gray areas…”

    I argued with Deep Strength that biblical submission is not black and white, but consists of grey areas. I argued for a nuanced understanding of what constitutes submission, including a measure of mutual submission. In short, submission is to roles, some of which may change, not hierarchy, which tends to be absolute and inflexible. I believe my understanding describes the majority of successful marriages and is closest to the “complementarian” position.

    There is no way I could ever have anything close to a 10 from the patriarchy perspective because our marriage doesn’t work that way. We are a team, not a hierarchy. She doesn’t submit to me because I’m her husband per se. We have our roles—our spheres of authority—to which we defer to each other. But these roles are not fixed and we exchange roles as needed. I value my wife’s independence and chose her because of that.

    So, from the “complementarian” perspective, it’s a 9. However, no one who holds the patriarchy perspective could bear to be married to my wife. I’m not sure that those who hold strict, absolutist, black and white understandings of submission understand the consequences of their view or how their idealism compares to reality.

  6. No kidding Derek…….this is my problem with “frame” and “patriarichal” marriage. It’s either you are the leader on everything and your wife submits to your every whim, every choice, every decision, or you’re a simp….a beta, a chump, a doormat, not a real man……..

  7. @Jason

    If I died and someone dating my wife asked her “if we marry, will you submit to me?” she would say “No” and probably never talk to him again.

  8. I’m not sure that those who hold strict, absolutist, black and white understandings of submission understand the consequences of their view or how their idealism compares to reality.

    It’s not that difficult to figure out.

    When important decisions need to be made in the marriage is it the husband who makes the final call or the wife?

    A wife should understand she’s helping her husband…not being the head.

  9. Derek. Correct. A huge decision, a career change……..moving……..buying a house…..monthly household budget……both are going to have to make it work, and agree. Sometimes, a decision does have to be made. Sometimes my dad would hold firm, and decide “this is what we’re going to do” and sometimes my mother articulated a solid case for reasoning and solutions……and it was agreed to do it her way. Most of the time, they jointly agreed on decisions….and backed each other up.

    Revolutionary indeed

    I doubt Rollo’s wife follows ten paces behind him and asks permission to speak and use the bathroom

  10. This back and forth between Earl, Jason, and Derek helps to highlight an important point. Family dynamics and family relationships are often about negotiated space. Yes, there needs to be love, there needs to be accountability, and there needs to be submission to authority (even the husband must submit to the authority of Christ), but it cannot be overlooked that one person cannot compel another person to do ANYTHING. From following his comments in other threads/sites, i believe Sharkly will disagree with me, but i think this is the reality. Even the most hard core of calvinists would agree that there is a volitional/human element in play when we obey God. Yes, God is all sovereign, and yes, unconditional election might be a tenet of calvinism, but at the end of the day, the elect need to submit. And we are to encourage one another to submission, and persuade one another to act rightly. But if a difference of opinion arises, i need to be mindful that i cannot twist my wife’s arm. Heck… i dont WANT to twist her arm. There needs to be a healthy level of give and take, a healthy level of humility (on my part, and her part too), and WISDOM, to recognize and segregate the more serious issues from the more trivial ones. Guys need wisdom to understand what hill you need to die on (What is non-negotiable) and what is secondary. And to be flexible with secondary stuff. My 2 cents.

  11. I just now see the comment that Jason posted at 2019-04-25 at 11:11 — this is it right here. We need to identify the super big decisions, and reach consensus on these. A marraige is a two party unit… i know that Jason knows a lot about dancing (i’ve never learned, what with my 2 left feet) but i imagine it is a lot like dancing. There needs to be some give and take, and cues need to be read and both dancers need to be on the same page to make beautiful moves… otherwise its not really dancing.

  12. I doubt Rollo’s wife follows ten paces behind him and asks permission to speak and use the bathroom

    That’s servility not submitting.

    Guys need wisdom to understand what hill you need to die on (What is non-negotiable) and what is secondary.

    Hence why is said IMPORTANT decisions.

    It was my father that made the call…my mother gave plenty of input though and he took it into account.

  13. NYC……well, I dance very well, however it’s not “ballroom” so according to the man-o-sphere it’s not “correct” because in ballroom dancing evidently, it teaches you “rock solid frame” and women just “cannot help but be led, and will date you no matter what you look like because they just want to be led, except when she rebels, except when….except when…..except when……”

    Danced with plenty of women for the past twenty-five years. 99% of white women *think* they can dance, and they usually are like dragging a huge granite statue on the floor….unless she *likes* you and thinks *you’re hot* then she will be easily led until she screams rape when Chad doesn’t call her back after some bareback.

    Black women are fun to dance with, especially the style I like Soul / Motown / Stax. The styles I dance to many claim are freestyle, and they are not. All those sixties soul stomps are metered heavily and patterned. Like ballroom. You may not be holding your partner, but its much more intense than ballroom………and the man-o-sphere of course…….jerks that they are…..you could learn ballroom dancing, to “help build your frame” and then they would accuse you of not being manly, or gay….

    can’t win with those folks

  14. Earl,

    Then there is some WAY out of line confusion of what “submission” means in the man-o-sphere….because from the writing, musing, and ‘tude of the “framed men” in “real Christian marriages”

    All they do is make decisions, tell their wife what to do, and “that’s it”

    If she asks to go to the bathroom, she’s “rebelling” in some form or another

  15. “All they do is make decisions, tell their wife what to do, and “that’s it””

    I’ve never seen a marriage that works this way. Here is how a recent disagreement with my wife went:

    [wife says something ridiculous]
    Me: “Umm, I’m not…”
    [wife interrupts]
    Wife: “Yeah, I know. You’re right…”

    We both know how each other’s heart and mind without needing words. Sometimes when she isn’t around and I have to make a decision, I play her words in my head. When we discuss it later, I tell her what she said while I was making the decision. We had discussed it together and come to an agreement without even having to actually converse or be together.

    “Hence why is said IMPORTANT decisions. It was my father that made the call…my mother gave plenty of input though and he took it into account.”

    I don’t make important decisions without my wife. The more important the decision, the more important the communication and agreement. Who logistically “makes the call” is just not important, because it merely reflects the results of negotiation. The personal desire to “make the decision” is not essential. When we have disagreements, we defer to the person who the higher authority in that area. Consider these examples:

    When it comes to how to discipline and interact with my one daughter, I defer to her judgment as a woman without question. I defer to her, an occupational therapist, for a large number of medical decisions because she’s an expert in that area. Yet, when the decision came to amputate my daughter’s leg, I made that highly emotional call because I needed to take the guilt for both of us.

    In these cases we fully supported the other’s decision. There are specific reasons why one or the other of us has to make a call and we know and trust that. I have never played the “I’m the husband” card.

    There have been a few rare times when one of us has made a decision against the will of the other. There is usually a price to pay for this disharmony. Even so, we eventually forgive and move on.

    “Then there is some WAY out of line confusion of what “submission” means in the man-o-sphere”

    Marital submission has almost nothing to do with who makes decisions. It is for this reason I have a lot of trouble talking about submission in the ‘sphere. It’s like we are speaking a different language.

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