Recently, Jordan Peterson, the classical liberal that radical-left liberals find their raison d’etre in hating, broached the concept of enforced monogamy. This was conveyed through the New York Times to the ever-shrinking number of people who have yet to read/hear him. Before even finishing the piece, one can divine that it may not be the most balanced representation: after all, how many articles that, within the first three paragraphs, note that, in Peterson’s world, order is masculine and that chaos is feminine do end well for modern readers? (I will not claim to know the complete mythological history of this way of thinking, but as someone who has spent the past decade reading traditionalist literature, namely, Guenon and Evola, this cosmological arrangement does not come across as novel or shocking. Then again, my reading tastes issue forth from a different palate than that of most NYT readers–I certainly hope.) By only the second paragraph, we are informed that “[m]ost of his ideas stem from a gnawing anxiety around gender.” One would think that since gender–and all its related concerns–has taken center stage as the primary actor in our societal performance of anguish and self-recrimination, this would be a undeniable mark of secular enlightenment, unless one, *existential gasp*, possesses the wrong views about gender, which Peterson apparently does. In the first paragraph, the reader is politely warned that Peterson encourages his audiences to look to the past for actionable models for today. If there is one crime that will not be tolerated by modern society, that crime is retrograde thinking. Motion–movement–is the unquestionable good. The assumptions, ones that the modern must take upon faith, are that moral progress can occur and that movement is progress. Farther along in the article, we discover, as if it were a witch hiding in the swamp waiting for us to wander too closely, Peterson’s contention that perhaps the “current [male-dominated] hierarchy might be predicated upon competence” as opposed to oppressive structures of power. The real ideological hullabaloo, though, comes as a result of the following: Peterson, in an attempt to explain the motivation for Alek Minassian, a young man who drove through a crowd of people in Toronto, killing ten, says: “He was angry at God because women were rejecting him….The cure for that is enforced monogamy.” Peterson goes to explain that such a solution would prevent the top-tier, high-status men (Alphas) from monopolizing most of the women, leaving rest of men (Betas, who happen to be–perhaps must be–most men in any society) to a life of involuntary celibacy (hence the incel tag) . Though this is not brought up in the Peterson article, a worse fate may be the guy who is consigned to sloppy-marriage seconds. Men who settle for sloppy-marriage seconds are men who, after being shamed by a female-centric society (conceptual nod to Rollo Tomassi) by being told that they need to get over their sexual insecurities and maturely pursue “experienced” women their own age, marry women who have ridden the carousing cock carousel (terminology nod to Heartiste) to their vagina-shaped heart’s delight during their young and tight years and then, once they intuit that they are approaching the wall, settle for chumps willing to accept them in their experiential “totality”–to the extent that the poor schlub is even made aware of his princess’s less-than-royal past. I will return to these ideas later.
Going back to the NYT article, predictably, the writer laughs away (one can imagine her swatting away a Peterson-shaped epidemiological fly) such an “absurd” way of thinking. I do love the way Peterson points out that she, as a women, is laughing at the pain of young men, for we know that of all comedic tropes no longer allowed for our entertainment consumption (e.g., the squinty-eyed Asian with thick glasses and bucked teeth, the uneducated black man in overalls who is scared of ghosts, or the hysterical woman who needs a good slap), this one still is. However, having read the entire article, I do not think it is quite the hit piece that it has been accused of being. Still, Peterson had to issue a much-needed clarification on his use of the phrase “enforced monogamy.” On his personal site, he quotes the clarification made by a fan of his on Reddit: “Peterson is using well-established anthropological language here: ‘enforced monogamy’ does not mean government-enforced monogamy. ‘Enforced monogamy’ means socially-promoted, culturally-inculcated monogamy, as opposed to genetic monogamy – evolutionarily-dictated monogamy, which does exist in some species (but does not exist in humans). This distinction has been present in anthropological and scientific literature for decades.” Also posted by Peterson is a study that concludes that men with “very dim prospects” of reproductive success are more likely to engage in violent behaviors, both against other men and against women. In addition, in YouTube videos produced by the ramzpaul and The Thinkery channels, the (no longer) common sense elucidation is presented that Peterson is not arguing for an establishment of governmental marital mandates; rather, Peterson is merely pointing out what has been much discussed in the manosphere (forgive the convenient Wiki reference) for some time: in decadent (read: non-traditional) societies, those few men who possess game get to experience the slapping, flapping joys of a disproportionate number of women while the rest are left to the fapping amusements of pornography or involuntary celibacy. Thus, societies that put in place cultural inhibitors to women’s hypergamous urges are healthier, less violent societies. Men have been fed the (perhaps now murderous) lie for far too long that if they work hard, play nice, and act right (reads better than work hardily, play nicely, and act rightly), the right women will come along who will appreciate them for who they are and will love them unreservedly as these same men strive to love women and will give them the very best that they have to offer of themselves. Not that this justifies, mind you, the murderous outrages that men fly into once unplugging from this romantic matrix, yet we ignore–or laugh away–this phenomenon at the risk of seeing more men implode and then explode like Alek Minassian or Elliot Rodger or, most recently, Dimitrios Pagourtzis.
This recent-event’s detour leads me to what I had originally planned to do with this post: review, albeit extremely summarily, Rollo Tomassi’s The Rational Male and The Rational Male: Preventative Medicine. His work explains very well the realities of the sexual marketplace in which we must all compete. Rollo Tomassi (not his real name, for reasons that should be[come] obvious) is considered one of the three founding R’s in the seduction/manosphere community: Rollo, Roosh, and Roissy, who now writes–one among a collective of writers, I suspect–under the manosphere moniker Heartiste. Each one is a winning bet in this trifecta; each one has his unique contributions. Roosh has put in years of field work and can offer very specific, very practical advice for approaching women. In the past few years, though, as is appropriate for his age, he has begun to take on very broad cultural concerns. Heartiste, who began in the same seductive vein as Roosh, has morphed into a defender of Western Civilization, though one may want to avoid the increasingly white-nationalist-“cafeteria-food-fight” tone of the commentariat that attends nearly every post–or, at least, I do. As for style, though, I can think of few better contemporary writers. In fact, the only one who immediately comes to mind is Jim Goad circa the ANSWER Me! era. Finally, Tomassi brings a very thorough sociological angle that I have found illuminating and one that I hope to convey.
In The Rational Male, if there is a foundational tenet upon which all the other ideas and strategies are built, it is this: Western societies have become (for the worse) feminine-centrist societies. What is a feminine-centrist society? This is a society that encourages women, either actively through the media’s and otherwise official cultural custodians’ (churches, universities, political communities, etc.) endorsement or passively through inaction, to act upon their hypergamous urges–urges that more traditional societies have collectively sought to subjugate to the greater good of those societies through measures such as shaming those women–and men–who pursued marital pleasures and their consequences, namely, sex, intimacy, and children, outside the confines of the one until-death-do-us-part marriage model. What is hypergamy? According to Tomassi, hypergamy is “women’s pluralistic sexual strategy…written into their genetics. In a woman’s sexual peak, across her ovulatory cycle she will tend to seek out High-Testosterone cued Alpha Men to pursue for her short term breeding strategy during her pro-phase of ovulation. In her menstruation period her preferences switch to preferring the long term security of a docile, secure Beta provider, and thus filters for these traits in her pair-bonding” (189). He goes on to say, “The key is understanding women want to be sexual on their own terms as their cycle dictates” (189). Of key importance to note is that hypergamy is a biological strategy over which women have no power to deny, yet this breeding imperative may be regulated. Thus, as Tomassi advises, men should not fall into the trap of demonizing women for acting upon their biological urges anymore than women should demonize men, who have twenty times the amount of testosterone that women have, for thinking of and talking about and wanting sex a helluva lot more than women do. (Actually, Tomassi relates of a story of a female body builder who, after taking steroids and experiencing a boost of testosterone and its corollary, an increased sex drive, confides to him that she cannot believe how men can live their entire lives this way. Oh, if only more women could empathetically experience the struggle.)
In societies that endeavored to regulate women’s hypergamous urges, women realized that if they had sex outside marriage with the exciting village/town cad, then they would have been shamed and perhaps would have lost all prospects of a decent marriage and, thus, given the economic exigencies, a materially secure life. If a woman had a child outside marriage, such a child may have been taken from her, and she may very well have had to relocate to another society, living the rest of her days as a suspicious implant. Whatever may have happened, the result was a lingering social stigma that would have served as a strong and effective warning to others. (Think: Hawthorne’s “The Scarlet Letter.”) Thus, while a woman might really have had the tingles for that rakish blacksmith with the big forearms who assumed such a commanding presence whenever he paraded through the village square, soberly realizing that she had only one shot at marital security (not bliss, not happiness–subjective, emotive terms that have been used to justify upsetting traditional ways of ordering life), she would have taken into account the rumors and his likely instability and would have then opted/settled for the devout farmer who may not have had the same charisma, but who would have given everything he had to make her and any children they had comfortable and safe. Yes, these societies may not meet our contemporary standards of fairness, but fairness is rarely an operative principle when seeking stability. Can the two coexist in comparable measures?
However, we no longer live in traditional societies. Given the feminine-centrist mentality that now reigns and the feminine imperative that seeks to keep this mentality dominant, women can now act upon their hypergamous urges with few negative consequences. During their younger years (prime fertility years), they can ride the cock carousel, chasing as much alpha cock as they can stuff into their, ahem, themselves. Birth control, abortion, antibiotics, and the general societal license to “be young and have fun” have contributed to an atmosphere in which women spend their biologically most fertile years avoiding pregnancy and investing in men who, as part of their very allure, are not willing to return that investment. Not to worry, though: if a woman happens to get pregnant, no longer does she have to worry about what others will think or about what will happen to the poor child who had no say in the matter. Much to the contrary: she will be valorized as a heroic single mom who has beaten the odds. You go, girl. ***duck face and selfie flash*** Taxpayers’ monies (AKA: Big Daddy Government–Oh, give it to me, daddy! Give it to me!) will be allocated to ensure that her child/ren will not have to suffer the effects of not having an actual dad on the premises. Once a woman begins to hit the wall, or, more likely, can no longer deny that she is approaching the wall at maximum ovulatory velocity, she will find any number of potential suitors who, in the chivalrous spirit of manning up, will look past her girls-just-want-to-have-fun indiscretions and marry this prize and provide for any bastard children that she may have in tow. TL;DR version: Alpha fucks; Beta bucks. (I am not sure if Tomassi coined this expression, but it does occur frequently throughout his work.) Elucidated: Alphas get the all the good fucks when the fucking is still good, but the Betas get the supreme honor of shelling out the clams to pay for the persisting two-legged consequences of the lifestyle choices of the women who are past their biological prime (sexual market value on the wane) and/so who are now ready to settle down with good, dependable, nice guys. (What is really sad about this is that when the nice guy believes that his pleasant day has courteously arrived, he will marry a woman who may now *need* a nice guy but still *yearn* for the Alphas of her youth. This phenomenon is known as Alpha widowhood.)
Back to The Rational Male: once a guy fully internalizes the feminine-centrist state of affairs, he is then empowered to unplug from the feminine matrix and use the official ovulatory orthodoxy to his advantage. To begin, Tomassi spurs men to relegate the soul-crushing soul-mate myth to the textbooks: “Dropping the Soul-Mate Myth isn’t the nihilism a lot of people might have you believe it is. If anything it will free you to have a better, healthier future relationship with someone who is genuinely important to you–a relationship based on genuine desire, mutual respect, complimentary [sic] understanding of each other and love, rather than one based on a fear of losing your ONE and only representation of contentment in this life” (7). This ONEitis will lead men to throw away everything to pursue women who, often times, would not have been interested in those same men during their Alpha-chasing prime. Instead, Tomassi counsels men to spin plates–that is, until men truly come to realize their potential, which is not, for most men, until their thirties, they should maintain an abundance mentality and keep their romantic options open: “When a man spins more plates, when he has irons in the fire, when he is pursing multiple women simultaneously, when he has options equally worth exploring, a man will have a natural, subconscious…understanding that if one prospect does not expand, others very well may” (40). This mentality is the key to success, not just with women, but in all areas in life. A proper mentality, though, can be achieved only when one knows the score. Knowing the score leads to Tomassi’s Iron Rule 1: “Frame is everything. Always be aware of the subconscious balance of who’s [sic] frame is which you are operating. Always control the Frame, but resist giving the impression that you are” (209). This is the challenge issued: most men do not want to accept these truths, commonly labeled as swallowing the red pill as opposed to the blue pill, regarding female behavior. They would rather continue to live in the frame that they were taught to live in and in a way that maintains the female imperative: behave, work hard, and be willing to sacrifice your goals, and women will come to appreciate your dutiful, sacrificial behavior. Such men may eventually find women who claim to appreciate them, but the women they tend to find are those who recognize that they no longer have the options they once had. However, this way of thinking, i.e., “She’ll finally see the light about me….,” betrays a belief in negotiated intimacy: if I do X, she must respond Y. Tomassi rips away the cover and lays this foolish way of thinking bare in the following: “[N]egotiated intimacy is never genuine. You can fix a woman’s flat tire, help her out of a financial jam, fix her a nice lasagna, give her the perfect should to cry on, babysit her kids and listen to her drone on for hours on the phone, and she’ll still go fuck her outlaw biker boyfriend because her intimacy with him is genuine, unnegotiated, unobligated desire” (74). Realizing this, men need to internalize the following: (Iron Rule 6) “Women are fundamentally incapable of loving a man in the way that a man expects to be loved by a woman” (224). This may be the bitterest red pill of all to swallow: romance, believe it or not, is by men for men. While Tomassi argues that men are the true romantics, not women, I first read this theory not in pick-up artist/manosphere literature but in a book by a very traditional Catholic professor, John Senior. I do not have the quotation in front of me, so I will have to paraphrase based on what I remember: men are the true romantics who have to pretend all their lives to be pragmatists, while women are the true pragmatists who have to pretend all their lives to be romantics. I read that over a decade ago, and it has stuck with me since then. This is an experiential intersexual axiom that men need to internalize for their very own sanity and success. Men, not women, are the one who bring ideals to a relationship; women, given their biological urging, are the ones who pursue opportunistically, not romantically. Once again, biomechanics is to blame if one wants to lay blame: women, reproductively speaking, as the more important member of the species, must be vigorously vigilant in order to ensure the very survival of the species. TL;DR version: sperm is cheap; eggs are costly. We all know this, especially women.
This leads me to Tomassi’s second book in the series, The Rational Male: Preventative Medicine. Given that this submission has turned into something much more grand (I compliment myself in using that term) than I had originally intended, I will not say as much about this volume. This tome’s foundational tenet is the following: men and women, not being fungible members of a neutral new world order, do not mature in a parallel manner. As the God of biomechanics (Heartiste terminology nod) would Deus vult it–we must be either His serviam/non serviam subjects, women mature, blossom, and, most sadly, fade much more quickly than do men. This volume lays outs the *general* pattern (Tomassi makes it very clear that he is not speaking for every woman, so keep that but-I-know-somebody-who-did-just-the-opposite anecdotal misdirection to yourself) by which women age and how they act according to a given stage life. Any mildly aware man should know this, but mild awareness does not produce the desired profits in the gynocentric economy.
I will focus on only two stages: the Party Years and the Epiphany Phase. Once again, Tomassi is speaking very broadly and understands that individuating factors such a security-deprived childhood or religious convictions or a preternatural beauty that endures may produce women who do not progress according to the model provided. That being said, I challenge anyone to deny general helpfulness of the phases paradigm. Between twenty and twenty-five, women explore the Party Years phase. During this phase, “[t]he physical arousal priorities [a woman] had in high school remain a top attraction, [sic] however, as she matures in the new experiences her SMV [sexual market value] peak affords her, status, and later affluence (wealth or potential provisioning)[,] start getting added to the attraction mix” (50). While women during this phase still highly value physical appearance, they also begin to consider the earning/provisioning possibilities of a potential mate. This helps explain how men well into their thirties, and even forties, who are financially stable and who have taken care of themselves are able to find romantic success with women whom they might not be able to date were they themselves currently in that younger age bracket. Yet, the corollary warning to this ostensible encouragement is that women who are in this stage intuitively know–and are constantly having re-enforced to them–their sexual appeal. They know at this stage all men of all ages notice and desire them, so they know that they have guy options galore. Thus, trying to gain a firm commitment from a woman during this phase may not be the wisest investment of one’s resources.
The next stage is the Epiphany Phase. This onset of this phase occurs with the peaking of a woman’s sexual market value around twenty-six or twenty-seven and intensifies between the ages of twenty-eight and thirty. The urgency to secure a mate overrides all other concerns: “The urgency of her need to consolidate on a supportive monogamy intensifies in direct relation to the intersexual competition stress she experiences as she ages and her sexual market value declines in comparison to that competition. This urgency makes the need for overt communication (men’s direct content based communication) increasingly more imperative for her so there is less and less margin for men to misunderstand her need” (60). When a woman is younger and knows that she has options, can afford to play games, tease, and misdirect through indirect forms of communication. In other words, she can be infuriating, yet men will still fawn over her. However, once she begins to realize that she can no longer keep up with the younger crop of women waiting in the wings of wantonness to replace her, she, as the stage name indicates, expediently has an epiphany about her wild ways (now former) and searches for a man who will be there the morning after. Also, because of the breeding concerns that are suddenly issuing forth, she has less time to waste and will come across much more directly about what she wants. Thus, during this stage, a man will less likely meet with the conversational frustration that he must endure during a woman’s Party Years phase. In other words, this is when a woman communicates like a man–relatively speaking. It would seem, then, that this is when men should strike. Unfortunately, as has already been discussed, this is the stage during which Girls-Gone-Wild pass themselves off as Girls-Good-and-Mild, leading men to think that the cows who have been giving away the milk for free for years have finally come home. Also, as has already been discussed, women will often settle, based upon an encroaching uterine urging, only to grow bored and start looking elsewhere later in life (Alpha Widowhood).
Based upon what little I have discussed, one may be tempted to think that MGTOW apologists have won the dying day. To the contrary, Tomassi hopes to empower men by revealing to them that, despite the feminine-mystique crowd, women are not these inscrutable, chthonic creatures whom men will never be able to understand. Rather, women, much like men, for we are all people, act in very predictable ways, and the key to understanding more helpfully a woman’s behavior is to understand her naturally hypergamous imperative and the stages by which this imperative manifests itself. Also, for those who may instinctively reject anything that comes forth from the pick-up artist/manosphere community, Tomassi does advocate an irresponsible, libertine lifestyle. His books are not manuals for getting chicks into bed. If you are looking for such, ultimately, short-sighted guides, there are better places to look. This may come as a surprise to people encountering Tomassi’s work for the first time, but in a book published in 2015, he refers numerous times to his happy eighteen-year marriage that has resulted in fatherhood. Thus, provided he is still married (and I have not read anything to the contrary), he has a marriage that has lasted longer than a good number of marriages of my peers, people who probably could have benefited from his work. There is no reason that the material he presents to help meet and date through better understanding women cannot be applied to already-married men who want to avoid the common divorce pitfalls and stay married. Therein, I would argue, lies the lasting value of his work. After all, picking up a girl is not even half the battle.
Addendum: in using the phrase sexual market value, I am keeping with the argot of the manosphere. I do not mean to argue that a woman’s–or a man’s–value as a person can be/should be reduced to that person’s physical attractiveness or that a person who is sexually desired by many, on that basis alone, possesses more value than a person who has fewer or no admirers. While many may, I cannot.