Well, this one is going to make for an interesting comments thread, I can just tell.
A reader put me onto the Chateau Heartiste site the other day. I gather that it’s where a popular commentator who used to go by the Internet name Roissy is now posting his observations about male-female relations. CH’s latest entry is a thoroughly unsentimental fisking of a column by a young feminist complaining that she was used by the guy she slept with on their first date. Young Feminist writes:
I slept with an idea of a man. I slept with how that man made me feel. But that man didn’t exist, except in my mind. When I realized this, I felt betrayed, naïve, stupid.
Boy, was that piece a fat, slow slider pitched right into CH’s strike zone. Warning: Chateau Heartiste’s lack of sentimentality includes frank, profane language, so don’t be surprised if you go to the site. Here’s a sample of the cleaner stuff:
Silly feminist. The reasoning is simple, if you would free your mind of its stifling propaganda shackles. Men really do devalue women who put out too quickly. Sexual evolution has granted men the insight to recognize that slutty women are likely to continue being just as slutty after committing to them, and that is bad news for men who want to know their children are really theirs, and who want to avoid the divorce raping that inevitably follows when a wife pursues the feral eat, pray, love self-actualization life trajectory. Those pesky little feelings that swarm around your cortical ham, if you would stop drowning them out with [deleted] agitprop, are early warning signals to behave in a more stereotypically feminine manner lest you harm your reproductive fitness.
[Quoting the article] I suspected I was internalizing cultural judgments about “easy” women.
Culture does not spring up out of the ground unseeded, like a summoned monolith. Human genetic disposition seeds the ground and creates culture, unleashing a macro feedback loop where culture and genes interact in perpetuity. Those “cultural judgments” you so recoil from are actually subconscious reinforcements of ancient biological truths.
Let me be clear about something: the worldview of Chateau Heartiste/Roissy is not a Christian worldview, nor, as a Christian, is it one I share. So don’t even start with me on that. Still, I appreciate his stuff because CH offers a scalding dose of realism about the way most men actually are, as opposed to the way we would like them to be. They can learn to restrain their own instincts, of course — it’s called civilization — but in our
barbarized sexually liberated culture, where is the pressure to do so supposed to come from? Not from contemporary Christianity, which is adapting itself, both actively and passively, to the libertine culture quickly enough. Philip Rieff, in The Triumph of the Therapeutic, had the church’s number over four decades ago:
In the classical Christian culture of commitment, one renunciatory mode of control referred to the sexual opportunism of individuals. Contemporary churchmen may twist and turn it while they try to make themselves heard in a culture that renders preaching superfluous: the fact remains that renunciatory controls of sexual opportunity were placed in the Christian culture very near the center of the symbolic that has not held. Current apologetic efforts by religious professionals, in pretending that renunciation as the general mode of control was never dominant within the system, reflect the strange mix of cowardice and courage with which they are participating in the dissolution of their cultural functions. Older Christian scholarship has known better than new Christian apologetics.
Rieff said that church leaders’ attempts to accomodate the sexual revolution would fail because
..they are engaged in a desperate strategy of acceptance, in the hope that by embracing doctrinal expression of therapeutic aims, they will be embraced by the therapeutics; a false hope — the therapeutics need no doctrines, only opportunities.
Anyway, CH’s maxims are basically a commonsense, if cynical, guide on how to be a player — and, indirectly, how to avoid being played. If women would read these and suppress the outrage instinct long enough to learn about fallen human nature from them, they would save themselves a world of heartbreak. In a culture in which Christianity has become not a prophetic challenge to baser human instincts, but a therapeutic helpmeet to them by baptizing emotion, Chateau Heartiste is, in its way, a more reliable and insightful guide to how to navigate the jungle we’ve made of our culture than anything young men and women are likely to hear at church.