Friday, January 24, 2020

A Necessary Condition For An Enduring Romance

     Normally I complete my morning “news sweep” before I light off on an essay for Liberty’s Torch. That sweep covers some fifty-three news and opinion sites. I undertake it twice daily – early morning and late afternoon – as the necessary groundwork for intelligent op-ed writing. But this morning, InstaPundit, a site which sits smack in the middle of my sweep, provides a citation I simply have to blather about:

     Did you hear that at the back, ladies? Laurence Fox – who you perhaps only knew as Billie Piper’s ex-husband because you’ve never seen Lewis (what?) – does not date "woke" women who he believes are being taught that they are "victims", irrespective of whether they are right or not. He thinks that it’s "institutionally racist" to tell the story of the First World War in a racially diverse way, irrespective of the fact that Sikh soldiers absolutely fought for Britain. And he also doesn’t believe in white privilege, irrespective of the fact that he works in a painfully undiverse industry, was privately educated and comes from a wealthy acting family which is nothing short of a dynasty.

     Fox is denying racism and sexism, irrespective of whether or not they exist. It’s nothing short of gaslighting. It’s all very Donald Trump. And as you would expect, the whole debacle has lit a fire under anti-woke poster boy Piers Morgan while gaining Fox thousands of extra Twitter followers.

     I could go over all the things he’s said; I could use data to prove how wrong he is; I could express concern for his mental health (after all, who really enjoys arguing on Twitter?); I could make jokes about his behaviour. But all of that would be to seriously miss the point.

     Got that, Gentle Reader? The writer, “Vicky Spratt,” wants you to know that Laurence Fox is a very minor presence in the acting world, but simultaneously that he comes from “a wealthy acting family.” If op-ed writers were prone to whiplash, “Miss Spratt” would be in a neck brace about now. But that, of course, is merely “pre-defamation,” for Fox’s sin is to disdain the same women as would any sensible man in the Right.

     From the relentless shrieking of her article, “Miss Spratt” is replete with hard-left and gender-war-feminist opinions, which comes as no surprise for “Refinery29.” (It also puts the odds that she’s replete with testosterone and Y chromosomes at six-five and pick ‘em, but that’s a subject to be explored only after a lot of Willamette Valley Vineyards’ “Whole Cluster” Pinot Noir, so it’s too early in the AM for that particular contretemps.) Her entire mission appears to be to condemn Laurence Fox, and any men who see the minefield of contemporary romance by the same light, as reactionary Neanderthals in need of compulsory re-education.

     I haven’t felt such visceral satisfaction over a left-winger’s published tantrum since Jonathan Chait’s famous tirade about how and why he hated George W. Bush.

     Allow me to say something that “should” be “obvious” in a large font:

If you and your beloved don’t have the same fundamental values, you’re not going to make it long-term.

     Sometimes that essential commonality isn’t apparent up front. It can take time to determine whether important attitudinal differences stand between two persons drawn toward one another for more superficial reasons. While men tend to be drawn to women’s looks first, he who settles for a pretty face and a shapely body is unlikely to get what he wants...unless, of course, what he wants is just a roll in the hay or a bit of “arm candy.” Similarly, while women are drawn to indicators of status first, she who settles for wealth or prestige is equally unlikely to get what she wants in the long term. (Her case is even worse, as wealth and prestige can be convincingly simulated for an appallingly long time.)

     Let’s take a simple but critical conviction that has sundered many a marriage: children and who shall be responsible for their principal nurturance. Traditionally, marriage has been about the protection of pregnant women and minor children: persons vulnerable to male caprice. (Gentle Readers with an interest in etymology should look up the roots of the word caprice. It’s got nothing to do with Frank Capra.) Indeed, these days a lot of couples eschew marriage because they have no plans to reproduce. However, if he wants kids and believes that she should have the principal responsibility for them – i.e., that his wife shall be a mother and homemaker above all else – he’d better not involve himself with a “liberated” woman indifferent to children who wants a career climbing the corporate pyramid.

     The “woke” female of today is almost always exactly that sort of “liberated” woman. Moreover, she tends to see relations with the stronger sex as problematic at best, a contest for dominance between the sexes in which she is determined to be the victor. (She might phrase it differently – e.g., “I’m unwilling to be submissive” – but this is usually an evasion.) What man of traditional values would want to partner with such a woman? And if an enduring partnership with one such is off the table, what would be the point of dating one?

     Laurence Fox’s values are his own. (As one’s values are personal, discussions of whether such values are in some way offensive, or dismissive of “female strengths,” are inherently fatuous.) If “Miss Spratt” dislikes them, she’s free to spout her own, as she has done. But she’s not going to invalidate Fox’s convictions; indeed, she might have given him a “leg up” in the mating dance with her diatribe.

     As “woke” women have become ever shriller and more combative, men have become ever more tentative in their dealings with women generally. Combine this with the legal hazards that attend contemporary marriage and childbearing, and it becomes inarguable that contemporary feminism, in concert with contemporary left-wing political machinations, are the greatest enemies to romance that young men have ever faced. Even if she seems normal and sane at the outset, you cannot know beforehand whether she’ll someday flip her wig. Much will depend upon the company she keeps, and of course upon whether she was sincere in her original profession of values and priorities.

     Don’t kid yourself, gentlemen: over the years you’re together, she could change in critical ways, not just in her appearance. (If you’ve bound yourself to her entirely for her looks, you’re a benighted fool who deserves what he will surely get.) It’s vital that she be sufficiently stable not to disavow her values over time...and influences that can induce such disavowals are everywhere today. Moreover, as she changes, you must continue to love her in the active sense. You must provide for her and protect her, as is your genetically ingrained responsibility, but you must also do what you can to support her in the trials the passage of time will inflict upon her, which are more severe than those it inflicts upon men.

     What’s that you say? Where are my prescriptions for romantically inclined women? Sorry, I don’t do the distaff side. Perhaps one of my Esteemed Co-Conspirators will ring in with it later today. (Hint, hint, Linda!)


Linda Fox said...

Funny you brought this up - I have been playing around with this, but will need a day or two to respond properly.


"If you and your beloved don’t have the same fundamental values, you’re not going to make it long-term."

This morning my older child asked "Why doesn't mommy care about Judaism"? That's a difficult question to answer. She cares enough to have had the children go through Mikvot - ritual conversion. She cares enough that she is OK with them going to Hebrew/religious school. But it's a casual caring. Everything else for her, if it needs to take place on Sunday mornings (school time), takes precedence.

I won't go off on a long rant about my wife - you don't care, and this isn't the place for it, but I do note that my wife's values and mine are diverging.