by Andy Nowicki
Recently The Patriarchy, a Facebook page geared towards young nationalist men, ran a series of posts, each of which featured an eye-catching picture of a highly attractive young woman possessed of an apparently impeccable traditionalist orientation and mindset. In each case, the text below the comely lass took the form of a pep talk: “Come on lads, don’t give up! Play your cards right, get your shit together, and something like this could be yours!!!”
Responses to these posts, which I am paraphrasing here, ranged from expressions of sullenly cynical Return of Kings-esque bon mots (“No way a girl like that really exists in the West – these days, they’re all a bunch of fat, skanky liberal feminist sluts!!!”) to effusions of simple mouth-agape admiration (“Whoa, she’s HOT!!!”) to displays of good-naturedly brazen, jovial braggadocio (“Get away from her, you bunch of losers… she’s MINE!”), to general declarations of approval with the overall message of the post (“What an inspiring speech! I won’t give up!”), each post more emphatic than the last (as signified here by the copious exclamation marks).
And I suppose it was all somewhat touching, in a way. The editor in question (I presume a slightly older, though still rather young man, perhaps in his early 30s) wished to instruct his youthful comrades not to despair, because dark as things may seem, victory is actually within their grasp; “We few, we happy few, we band of brothers,” and all that. But I nevertheless found something about the scene quite unsettling; watching the feeding frenzy of commenters, each desperately tearing away a digestible message from the bewitching images on display, reminded me that even among those pockets of resistance to the cultural miasma that is the rancid mainstream, an air of conspicuously degraded sensualism still pervades.
The original poster, in his defense, intended for the girls on display to function as incentive for the guys reading (and more notably, staring, swooning, and drooling) to become better men. Nor were the pictures salacious, unduly provocative, or otherwise exploitative. Still, the fact that these images were utilized as a form of enticement has unavoidable pitfalls, if character formation is indeed what is being aimed at.
In the first place, the message delivered by the Patriarchy poster, while surely motivated by a heartfelt wish to give encouragement, is plainly unrealistic. No matter how good a man you train yourself to be, you are simply not guaranteed an attractive wife, or any wife, for that matter. The cold, hard “facts on the ground” are that many good people do end up alone, and many rather shitty people have no problems whatsoever finding companionship. Rejection and heartbreak aren’t necessarily ameliorated by the cultivation of self-improvement. Attractive people—both male and female— are much like the rest of us, in that they aren’t necessarily drawn to what is best for them; therefore, contra Patriarchy, becoming a more responsible and upright man isn’t likely to have the effect of winning you the girl of your dreams.
In fact, those “manospherian” jerks may just be right on this score: being an outright asshole is probably the best way to get many women to be attracted to you. But we shouldn’t be led to think that this depraved tendency is limited to those of the female persuasion. In fact, it also applies in reverse; that is, mean, bitchy women often have an undeniable (if unaccountable) way of becoming man-magnets.
Our sex drives, quite simply, fuck us all up in one way or another, often causing us to see deep-seated character flaws as “sexy” while sweet, admirable traits are regarded as “boring.” Thus, becoming more righteous almost certainly won’t make a person more wanted by the opposite sex. This isn’t to say that men shouldn’t strive to be better than they are; it is simply to point out that attaching a hypothetical pretty girl to the hook (“If you bite at this bait, here’s what you get in return!!!”) is irresponsible rhetoric, almost amounting to a salesman’s “bait and switch.”
Moreover, even if improving one’s own lot were assurance of romantic success, such a prospect shouldn’t be the reason one aims to improve oneself. One always hopes, of course, that the unrelenting cultivation of a life of virtue will eventually be rewarded, but unfortunately there is absolutely no guarantee of such an outcome. Dangling images of gorgeous girls before the faces of young men as incentive, even if done from the best possible motives, nevertheless invites, and even solicits, a certain ignobility of spirit from them; one suspects that one who operates from this proposition won’t become righteous for righteousness’s sake, but will rather, like Limp Bizkit, “do it all for the nookie.” Men who behave thusly for these reasons are nothing more than abject slaves to their passions; the fact that they’ve sublimated their desire to get laid, as in this case, doesn’t make their baseness any the less pronounced.
This consideration, in turn, leads to a more subtle, and finally more crucial one. It is fair, I think, to acknowledge that beautiful women will, to some extent, always dominate the attentions of men. We men are, to a great degree, rendered helpless in the presence of female beauty; its very sight rivets us and makes us catch our breath, as the widespread reaction of thePatriarchy readers to those “honey-shot” photos can attest.
Yet our entrancement need not, and ought not, lead us into psychological servitude. True masculinity, in fact, is characterized by an ability to detachourselves from that which would own us, control us, fling our souls into disarray. A mature man is a master, even of his own weaknesses; he is a stalwart, even in the face of that which would undo him. He appreciates beauty, but doesn’t let it overwhelm him; for the sake of his own dignity and well-being, he refuses to be manipulated. He maintains control, and disdains the notion of allowing his wayward ego to make him vulnerable to flattery, lust, or status-acquisitiveness.
The sexual revolution, which has run its course over the past six decades, has had a baleful effect, both on femininity and masculinity. It has rendered both sexes debased and debauched, albeit in different ways, with divergent manifestations. The Patriarchy site deserves credit for striving mightily to reverse this blighted, long-term trend. However, its editors may be well-advised to mix in a hearty helping of stoicism into their stew of general rhetorical encouragement next time around. A man is ultimately nothing, after all, if he can’t stand alone.
(originally published at Alternative Right, January 2015)