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).