The Society of Phineas blog on singleness
(Link): Manufacturing Singleness Part 2, from The Society of Phineas blog
There are aspects of the above blog page I agree with, and ones I do not.
I will here-after refer to this blogger as “Phineas,” though he also uses the screen name of “ballista74.”
The blogger of the above classifies Al Mohler, DeYoung and Mark Driscoll as “feminist preachers.” There is nothing feminist about Mohler or Driscoll. I don’t know DeYoung well enough to comment on him.
Mohler and Driscoll are actually anti-feminist. They are gender complementarians. They believe in strict gender roles, that women should be sweet, pretty, and passive, while males should be tough, assertive, decisive, and active.
I would not be interested in marrying a Christian man who agrees with Mohler’s or Driscoll’s views on marriage and women.
Most women, Christian and Non, find Driscoll to be a sexist pig, not a feminist who champions their causes. Saying that Driscoll is feminist would be like saying that the Coyote loves and esteems the Road Runner; it does not compute. Driscoll says things that both genders find offensive.
Christian gender complementarians such as Driscoll and Mohler are known for blaming feminism for the lack of marriages among Christians; see this post: (Link): Christian Males Blaming their Unwanted Protracted Singleness on Feminism – They have the wrong target
That Mohler and Driscoll hold young males partially responsible for the drought of marriages among Christians today is not a party line of feminism (feminists are usually anti-marriage, believing it traps women and only benefits men), and more a throw back to their incorrect interpretations of how they think the Bible discusses and defines gender roles.
I do agree with Phineas that many Christians remain blind to the fact that Christian women on occasion commit sexual sins – I would say this is due in part to inherent sexism of their complementarian gender role views.
Christian males don’t like to admit to themselves that Christian women (or Non Christian women) want sex or enjoy sex.
Male Christians like to think of married Christian women as being frigid, uninterested in sex, and reluctant sex partners who have to be cajoled or guilt-tripped into having sex with their husbands.
Witness the numerous sermons by preachers on marriage where the male preacher will usually pound it into the heads of married women in the congregation that men really like sex, so, married ladies, they are told, be sure to sexually service your husband regularly, because men really, really, really like sex!
Sex is viewed as a male activity. Women are told repeatedly that men are “visual,” so that women are pressured to stay very skinny, diet all the time, and look like fashion models day in and day out, so that their spouses will continue to find them sexually and visually appealing.
Men, especially Christian ones, are not under the same kind of pressure so far as physical appearance is concerned.
Christian men get the notion they can let themselves go and be physically repulsive looking and Christian women, they are told by pastors, will still want them sexually, so long as they are a “strong spiritual leader,” or attend church weekly, or some other ridiculous, poppycock, sentimental or churchy sounding reason.
Regarding this part of Phineas’ post:
- So I perhaps shouldn’t be too offended by all the man-up rants [directed at single Christian males], since they are in response to the women complaining about how the 10-15% of the men they do see don’t want anything to do with them.
They don’t address how the women generally find it repulsive and disgusting to be addressed by the 85-90% that doesn’t meet their hypergamous standards. After all, if they want the Alpha Experience, they should know too that the Alpha just won’t settle down and marry, or follow after Scripture in any way.
-reeks a bit of sexism to me, in part because there are too many assumptions and generalizations about women.
Women are allowed to be attracted to whom they wish to be attracted to. It always sounds like sour grapes to me any time I see a male complaining that women are not as keen to date the less-attractive males.
- Women have a right to express that they don’t appreciate a man’s advances.
by HUGO SCHWYZERJUN
What SNL played for laughs, many men (and some women) took – and still take – seriously: Some men can’t win with women, these people believe, no matter what they do or say.
This attitude is best observed in the recent backlash against calling men “creepy.” “Creep is the worst thing you can call a man,” wrote Jeremy Gordon for the Hairpin, pointing out it’s an impossible charge for a guy to disprove. As Gordon writes, “creepy is a vibe you can’t define… you just know it.”
Others argue that “creepiness” connotes something specific: male homeliness. Men’s rights activist Robert Lindsay titled a post “Creepy” is Woman Speak for “An Unattractive Man Who Shows Interest In Me,” while Thought Catalog’s Johanna de Silentio wrote that “there are also a lot of guys who are labeled ‘creepy’ just because they happen to be really unattractive.”
I often hear something similar in my gender studies classes. (It was in a “Men and Masculinity” course years ago where an anguished young man first drew my attention to the Brady skit.)
Whenever the subject of sexual harassment or “creep-shaming” comes up in class, someone–almost always a man–makes the case that SNL was right: the only way for straight men to safely express sexual interest in women is to do so while following the skit’s three rules.
With almost invariable bitterness, these young men complain that unless a guy has won striking good looks in the genetic lottery, he’s doomed to be rejected and seen as overstepping his boundaries, no matter what he does.
…… Men’s rage about sexual harassment regulations and “creep-shaming” may well be rooted in an unwillingness to accept these cultural changes that have given women unprecedented power to say “no” to the lecherous and the predatory.
Complaints that unattractive, socially awkward men are unfairly labeled “creepy” miss the point. “Creepy” describes having “the creeps;” it’s a word that centers on women’s own feelings.
It’s no more “unfair” for Ashley the hypothetical barista to be “creeped out” by the advances of an older, unappealing co-worker than it is for her to be excited by the same approach from the man to whom she’s attracted.
In that sense, the SNL sketch got to an important truth: Women’s subjective experiences and instincts matter.
I also recoil any time I see a male use the terms “alpha” or “beta” when discussing other males as on Phineas’ blog, because these terms are usually employed by embittered, women-hating males who blame feminism and women themselves for their singleness.
They are typically the guys who declare they are “nice guys” and that all women really want to date “bad boys” or perfect, really good- looking guys with a lot of money and won’t even give the “nice guy” a chance.
I’ve blogged about “nice guys” before, so I will not belabor that issue here. See these posts at my blog:
(Link): Nice Guys: Scourge of the Single Woman
(Link): Nice Guys – the bitter single men who complain women don’t like nice men
Where Phineas writes,
- There are many more things that could be pointed out. In conclusion, the feminist preachers such as Mark Driscoll, Kevin DeYoung, and Albert Mohler need to look into the mirror and see what they are doing to precipitate the results that they are noticing.
When you do certain things within a system you create, these things always create very specific results.
Insanity is to expect different results out of doubling down and doing the same things. The man-up rants that they write come off as complaining that what they have set up and supported is not working as they desire.
I can agree with that in- so- far as most Christian teaching on dating, sex, marriage and gender roles has contributed to keeping both genders perpetually single.
It is not that Driscoll and Mohler support misandry and “blame the males” at every turn that is solely to blame for protracted singleness among Christians, but that Christians, at the root of it, are
1. afraid of fornication (pre-marital sex)
and some Christians are
2. beholden to traditional gender roles (they fear or hate feminism)
I see in another post at Phineas’ site ((Link): Some Problems in Christian Dating) that he does acknowledge that Christian fear of pre-marital sex drives a lot of the absurd teaching on dating that singles receive.
Points 1 and 2 above drive a lot of the ridiculous dating advice that Christian singles receive, an issue I have covered on this blog before, in posts such as (and I’m tossing in a few related topics here)…
This is hosted on another blog:
(Link): Feminism, Singleness, And The Idol Of The Nuclear Family
As for Phineas’ part 1 (Link:) Manufacturing Singleness Part 1, I think he blames single women too much and unfortunately plays into some stereotypes about singles that marrieds possess (I’m not sure if Phineas is single or married).
Notice Phineas refers to older single women as being “bitter.”
Phineas also errs in assuming that older singles “have baggage,” which is another stereotype of singles. The truth is that all people of all ages, both married and single, have “baggage.”
Ironically, some of us, as we age, lose whatever “baggage” we had at one time; particularly is this true for females, most of whom learn to accept themselves by the time they reach age 40.
I spent childhood to my late 30s not knowing who I was and being deeply insecure. I now know who I am and what I want in life and am not afraid to go after it anymore. I lost baggage. I would actually make a healthier martial partner now than when I was in my 20s or 30s.
- This is nothing different that hasn’t been seen in the culture. Women go off and do their own thing, usually career, but other ministry things, too. They do these things with the expectation that they can find marriage at any time they would like in their lives.
It is well known that the available pool of candidates for marriage decreases considerably as one ages. Marriage is just not a priority for these women, but when it comes time that they find that there just aren’t candidates out there.
Or they are so set in their ways and their own desires, that they just can’t find anyone to go along with them and get bitter and angry because they couldn’t have their own perfect romance like all the other women around them.
Then they always have more chance to get baggage that would keep them from getting married.
It is simply the nature of American culture (and likely British, Canadian, and Aussie culture) that people no longer marry fresh out of high school or early college years, like they used to do. Women should not be blamed for this situation, but they are, as you can see in Phineas’ quotes above.
It’s not so much that women deliberately chose to remain single in their late 20s, mid 30s and older.
Honestly, a woman today has no choice but to go out and live life and hold a job down to be able to pay rent.
What do bloggers such as Phineas expect a woman to do, marry at age 18? I was too insecure and in some ways, too immature, to be married so young. I’m not the same person I am in my early 40s that I was in my early twenties. Had I married back at age 18, I seriously doubt such a marriage would have survived to my mid 30s.
If the woman cannot find a partner at age 18, is she to curl up in a ball in her closet and hope that God magically sends her a spouse?
What do you want a woman who is still un-married at ages 23, 27, 35, to do, just sit at home all day? Should a single woman (or man) not be living life in the meantime, while waiting and hoping for a spouse?
I did not get my first boyfriend until around age 27. I had fully expected to be married by my late 20s to mid 30s. Up until I got my first boyfriend at age 27, what would Phinease suggest I have done, sit about all day doing nothing?
- Given this trend, it seems the proper course is for “woman-up” rants from the evangelical feminist preachers, not man-up rants. It seems women are just expecting marriage to be there when they are ready for it, after running after being an “empowered woman”, and then are rushing the offices of these people when they aren’t finding it, complaining how men aren’t there to marry them. Then you get the man-up rants out of them because it could never ever be the chaste sinless women’s faults.
Phineas needs to realize that many of these women, the single Christian ones who are upset they arrive at age 30 to 40 still single, are not feminists who bought into “girl power” or “empowerment” messages.
Concerning marriage, Christian women are conditioned by Christian culture and preacheres to be passive and wait on a husband to appear. These Christian women are simply doing as they were taught by church, family, and preacher; they did not opt for feminism or career over husband.
I have seen population statistics which indicate that for about every unmarried Christian man at age 40, there are three or four unmarried Christian females.
In other words, there is only one male to go around for every three or four women.
Complaining and bitching about feminism and so on does nothing to change the numbers. Even had all those age 40 women been willing, able, and ready to marry a man when they were at age 21, there were NO MEN IN EXISTENCE FOR THEM TO MARRY.
I was raised to be a “gender complementarian” from the time I was a girl. I honestly tried to buy into the traditional gender role nonsense, but rejected it by the time I was in my late 30s or so.
In my teens and twenties, I knew if I married, I’d do my best to be the stereotypical June Cleaver, Christian submissive wife that the anti-feminist Christians constantly lecture at women they ought to be.
So, even though I was a sweet, submissive, nice, lady-like Christian girl – who was a virgin and still am a virgin – I did not get a husband.
Most churches I went to did not have single Christian men my age.
I was never on a feminist power trip, and neither are many of the other Christian women who find themselves mid- thirties or older and still not married.
The entire Christian, female gender should not be blamed for an entire cultural shift, much of which took place before we were born or while we were children.
Further, we Christian ladies are raised from girl-hood to believe in ‘Magical Marriage,’ this is, that if you are good, pray to Jesus, and have faith in God, that God will simply send you your Christian husband in a timely fashion.
I was told that nice Christian girls wait on God’s timing for a spouse, that Christian women do not pursue men, that we are to wait passively (though I did go to singles events at churches and so on).
Christian women are told to pray and wait for God to provide a spouse. But then, no husband ever arrives. This is painful for a lot of Christian women who were sincerely trusting God for a spouse – but here Phineas is lashing out at such women on his blog, as though they are at fault, when they are not.
If Phineas is angry at man-bashing preachers, such as Mark Driscoll, he needs to save his vitriol for Driscoll, instead of blaming, shaming, or complaining about single Christian women.
- 2. Unrealistic expectations from women for the perfect man for them are not challenged by the feminist preachers.
…So given this, it seems women are rejecting men that are “good enough” in the sight of God to be her husband for the absolute perfect man, who does not exist.
And that could just as easily read,
- 2. Unrealistic expectations from men for the perfect woman for them are not challenged by the gender complementarian preachers.
…So given this, it seems men are rejecting women that are “good enough” in the sight of God to be his wife for the absolute perfect woman, who does not exist.
I’ve said it before, but a lot of single Christian men, despite being ugly, dweeby, dorky, poor, weird, stupid, socially awkward, fat, or bald, all expect to marry a skinny pretty movie star look-alike, and Christian preachers uphold this unrealistic entitlement attitude by telling women in their congregations things such as, “men are visually wired and like sex, so ladies, be sure to stay thin and pretty and act like a minx in the bed room!”
One never hears preachers saying, “Remember men, women like buff, hot, muscular men with a full head of hair, so attend the gym weekly, get a “six pack,” and use some Rogaine.”
Preachers refuse to acknowledge that women have sexual desire, which I find insulting… well, they will acknowledge on occasion that un-married women have a libido, as they assume (insultingly and incorrectly) that all single women are harlots who fornicate regularly and who are just dying at the chance to bed married men.
Preachers assume that married women, though, are as pure as the freshly drive snow, or are totally un-interested in sex, because, they feel, married women only want “emotional intimacy.”
The bottom line is that both genders face insulting stereotypes from each other, from preachers, from Christians, and in society. Both genders face hurdles in the world of dating. Neither men nor women have it easy in getting dates or spouses, and it is neither wholly the fault of women, men, or feminism.
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