Saturday, August 1, 2015

On Marriage and Divorce and Trolls and Haters

I moderate my comments because I once got 67 comments about carpet cleaning on one post. I rarely get comments at all, so I hate to block any I do get, but an anonymous writer sent in a comment on my recent post on Krakauer's latest book. The comment had little to do with the post; it's largely just misdirected vitriol, so I thought I'd share it here for some closer scrutiny. (Sorry about the swears.)

We men must boycott marriage, and never marry. Why? Because there are ZERO benefits for men in marriage. If you get married, there is at least a 50 percent chance that your wife will divorce you, kidnap your children from you, and steal all your money in divorce. 
So, what are the alternatives to marriage?
1. Learn how to game and seduce women
2. Fuck prostitutes
3. Masturbate to porn
Did you know that it's cheaper to fuck a prostitute once a week than to maintain a wife? You will get bored of fucking your wife after the first six months of marriage but with a prostitute you can fuck a new one every time. 
There is already a MASSIVE anti-marriage campaign worldwide, with men basically giving up on marriage and refusing to get married. Here are two recent articles on it:


This main article is from Peter Lloyd of the Daily Mail (the second article is merely reporting on the first link). Lloyd writes about a new book that suggests the falling marriage rate is all women's fault:
"Ultimately, men know there’s a good chance they’ll lose their friends, their respect, their space, their sex life, their money and — if it all goes wrong — their family,’ says Dr Helen Smith, author of Why Men Are Boycotting Marriage, Fatherhood And The American Dream.
Lloyd discusses primarily the legal ramifications of marriage that skew everything in favour of the mom now in Britain (and elsewhere): "The Children Act of 1989 specifically declares: ‘The rule of law that a father is the natural guardian of his legitimate child is abolished.’"

And this is a real concern. It's not uncommon for challenged power structures to flip, Animal Farm style, instead of dissolving into a beautiful puddle of equity. Until recently, women were in a position to lose everything without a husband to grant them legitimate children and a home and a name, but once women found the numbers and strategies necessary to fight back, the dynamics flipped, and now child support and custody absolutely favour women.

I know this first hand. When I was splitting from my kid's dad, I sat down to look at how much I'd need to maintain my daughter's life at the same standard of living. This is what child support is supposed to be about - making sure children don't suffer during a break-up. But then I checked the Ontario child support tables, and found that I "had a right to" THREE TIMES that amount, which amounted to almost 45% of his take home pay. So I showed him the tables, asked for a third of the suggested amount, and we did it all without lawyers or courthouses. I'm all for primary caregivers getting support, but I question an amount that leaves the secondary caregiver struggling to get by.

And I know some women might get a little greedy when they see the dollar signs, and, possibly, when they have a lawyer that suggests they should get as much as they can to invest for the child's future. It's asking a lot of people to see what they could have and hope they choose to take less. In fact, if we could manage that at all, we wouldn't be in the dire straights we're in environmentally.

I've been through this twice. The first time round, a rookie, I immediately went to a lawyer who aggressively tried to convince me to get back-pay from the moment my oldest was born - amounting to $20,000.  I knew that a lump sum payment like that would set my ex back significantly, and I declined. But I had to be firm on that. My lawyer was ready to fight for things I didn't want. I can imagine a less anti-materialistic person having a hard time refusing to get into that battle.

I'm not sure how prevalent it is for women to go for the gold. I know it happens. But what's interesting to me is how strong that stereotype is. Even though I took only what I really needed and not a penny more in order to work towards an equitable solution for the best of the kids, both exes started down the road of common lines from these types of arguments.  It took a while to erode the stereotypes enough for them to remember what I'm actually like:

I'd stop their random drop-in visits, and get the standard accusation: "You're trying to keep the kids from me!" and I'd respond with "Not at all - let's arrange another day each week at your place." And that extra day would inevitably just fall away as they realized they didn't actually want to take them more than half the time. Restrictions can be hard to live with, so a sense of freedom can help people see what actually works best.

They'd want to buy something they couldn't afford and accuse me of being in it for the money, but a quick look at my expenses, how frugally I live, and how much I could have asked for, eventually ended those random attacks. I can't afford travelling through Europe either.

It's to a point that it can be hard to be heard above the cacophony of stereotypes around broken homes: conniving moms and deadbeat dads or disney dads. I wasn't ready for it the first time round, and it took me by surprise to be automatically slated into the bad guy role, but when I heard the same words in round two, which was a very different scenario, I knew it was a bigger cultural issue and not something I was provoking. The role models of how to make this work amiably are few and far between.


First of all, the divorce rate has actually gone down significantly. It peaked at 50% shortly after becoming easier to get, but it's not still up there. But it is true that marriage is in decline. I've never actually married myself, not for the reasons Anon suggests - all those prostitutes! - but mainly because I don't think we can actually vow to love anyone for any amount of time, much less to death. I touch a bit on other thoughts here.

But it's clear from that portion of Anon's comment that he - I'm going to go right ahead and assume it's a 'he' - really sees marriage as all about sex, even about money for sex no matter how you slice it. I find this so weird in this day and age when casual sex outside of marriage is so much more acceptable. First of all, as I explain here, there's nothing that states that sex has to be part of a marriage. It's just part of what might happen. But, that being said, some studies show that sex actually gets better after marriage. Being with one person for a while can open up new adventures that don't often happen on the first try - even with a skilled professional. But there are other things partnering up can offer: an extra set of hands to help around the house, someone to actually raise children with jointly, and maybe even at chance at some company and, if it's not asking too much, support when you need a kind word or pat on the back. Yes these things can be had outside of a marriage too, but many people find them key benefits to their marriage. Whatever works.


Anon goes on to explain that the problem isn't just about marriage, but about - wait for it - feminism:
Now, there are THREE main ways we can destroy feminism forever and take women off the massive pedestal they are on. We must fund and promote the following three technologies: 
1. Virtual reality sex programs,   2. Artificial wombs,   3. Sex Robots
Once these three technologies are in place, women will no longer have any power in society. After all, why would you waste time chasing after fat women in real life when you can fuck hot supermodels in virtual reality or fuck a female sex robot? And since women's main power comes from their reproduction capacity, if we REMOVE that capacity from women through the technology of artificial wombs, then women will have ZERO power left in society and thus feminism is finished forever.

THIS is the solution, gentlemen! Now we must do our part and spread the above message to as many men as possible so that we can raise the consciousness of men worldwide. I am the guy who created the famous Boycott American Women blog, which reached around 40 million people worldwide through the internet campaign I created. Therefore I know what I am talking about.

In summary:

Do not ever get married. Simply seduce and bang women, or fuck prostitutes, and help promote the above three technologies, and we will DESTROY FEMINISM FOREVER! Thank you!

If you still have doubts about WHY you should not get married, I strongly recommend you to read the following article.

Apparently, there's a belief out there that the power feminists have comes entirely from the hold we have over men as the only means to satisfy their need for sex and children. With robots to provide these services, women would lose all their hard-won gains.

It makes me wish I could write science-fiction; I'd like to see what Robert Sawyer could do with that initial premise. I picture some men spending all their money on sex machines, the way they currently might with prostitutes, and then the rest of the world just carrying on, falling in love and marrying and having babies the old-fashioned way. It might put flesh-and-blood prostitutes out of work, but there coud be openings in other fields now that men are so busy with their robots and their "iWomb" children. Would child-care become an entirely male centred activity? If so, then it's just a flipped version of the 50s, with the men home with the kids and the sex toys, and the women freed up from their mothering and sexual duties to really get powerful.

Careful what you wish for!


It's hard when you've been destroyed by someone close to you. It's hard when you started at square one and are now twenty paces behind in the game. That really sucks. Absolutely.

It's especially hard when your expectations of relationships don't come close to matching the real world. You know that real world, where women are more than just jizz buckets who make sandwiches; they're actually people worthy of the same respect given to men. Some women are jerks, of course they are, and so are some men. That's another part of reality that can be hard to get used to. If you come to a relationship expecting a housekeeper with benefits, then I can understand your disappointment. But it's that expectation that need to shift, not the services granted by the women encountered. That's a difficult journey to begin, but I know it's possible to get there.  This guy does a great job of explaining it all:

It can feel really good to find a scapegoat for all that pain and suffering, but this is when we have to be so, so careful about what we attack next. There's a built in reaction in all mammals: the pain-aggression response. When we feel pain, we'll attack the first thing we see. Ever stub your toe then yell at your friend for something completely unrelated? It makes sense if you're in the jungle to immediately attack when pain hits, but it makes far less sense in our day-to-day lives. I believe we have big enough brains to override this instinct - most of the time.

Here's the thing: your pain is not the fault of feminists. It's got precious little to do with the movement that helped to get women up to the same legal status as men. And attacking feminists just gets you written off as a nut-job instead of really listened to, and then nothing can change.

Stereotypes are deadly.

I work to remember this myself: When another kid gets killed by police I take a minute to remind myself of all the awesome cops there are out there who are risking their lives to keep us safe. If we start assigning the behaviours of a few bad apples to the entire group, then we'll just have so many more to hate and so few allies to work towards a better way to live and love together. We can't take sides in a ridiculous war. The stakes are way too high right now. We work together as fellow citizens of this wounded planet, or we all die trying.

ETA: This link on sex with robots:
"But for all our creativity, are we so unimaginative that we can’t conceive of any other way to interact with sentient beings besides domination? The human ability to designate subhumans (in this case, robots) represents the worst in our species’ capacity; if men by and large don’t treat women well, gynoids won’t help any more than owning slaves has made men less likely to abuse their wives. We cannot improve as a society or a culture through replication."


Marie Snyder said...

So, I took this post down for a bit because I though it might just attract more trolls rather than actually help begin finding a path we can use to work together on this. Then I put it back up because I think it's an important issue to address. We really do need to create a more equitable way to end relationships for the sake of the children involved. And we do need to address this kind of anger. I'm not sure I'm the best person for that job, though.

But, John Rambo, do try to read more carefully - especially when a topic is triggering for you:

I have no problem with men choosing to have sex with robots or prostitutes, but I don't think that will eradicate feminism the way Anon thinks it will. And I'm also concerned that Anon paints a very negative picture of men that see marriage as merely a means for sexual release without any type of beneficial social or intellectual connection with their partners. I don't believe most healthy men are wired that singularly focused.

I didn't remove my daughter's father from her life. We have 50/50 access, and we live a couple blocks apart. That should have been pretty clear when I said that if he takes her an extra day each week, he'll have her more than half the time.

But that's a curious concern you have because, as far as I know, a mom can't legally remove a child from her father's life even if the mom wanted to - even if the dad is abusive. I'm curious what happened in your life that you jumped to this conclusion. I'm actually curious what's happening in general that men feel their children have been taken away from them so they grow up fatherless. Maybe the law is different in the U.S., but I don't believe that can possibly happen in Canada under current legislation.

Furthermore, lots of people are divorced and get along really well with their exes. Divorce doesn't make someone evil. Sometimes people can't live together as well as they can live apart.

JD said...

"I'm actually curious what's happening in general that men feel their children have been taken away from them so they grow up fatherless." It's because it happens. I've had 2 close friends go through divorce, moms were awarded primary custody, and they moved across the country. I've had other work acquaintances just give up fight for custody, it's too expensive. You said it doesn't happen in Canada, but what about Dave Foley? He's child support and alimony was based on his career peak, he'll never be able to pay, and he'll be arrested if he steps foot in Canada now. What would the consequences be if you first ex couldn't pay the court ordered amounts, if you were awarded the $20K and maintenence that was 3x what was actually acquired? In the US you get thrown in jail. A lot of these horror stories make headlines because of the dollar amounts involved, but it's even worse for the poor community. If the mother gets custody and collects welfare, the state then collects child support, which is calculated on median incomes for the area. The don't care that the unemployment rate for black men is twice that of white men, or that the jobs they qualify for pay lower. It's so stupid. How are you supposed to pay back anything when you can't keep a job because you're going to jail every 3-6 months? And get trade licenses revoked? When Walter Scott ran from the cops I don't blame him. He's either going to get away and be able to go to work, or he's going to jail for running from the cops when he would have anyway for child support (unfortunately he didn't figure the cop would shoot him in the back). Getting back to your first ex, even if he was awarded shared custody, if you went for everything legally available to you don't you think that would affect his ability to spend time with his kids, his ability to father? The fact is most divorces are like yours, somewhat amicable and fair giving the circumstances. That doesn't change the fact that in family court is basically russian roulette for men. A better analogy might be that family court give women a loaded gun, and it's up to them whether or not to shoot it.

I could go on forever about exactly how feminism is ruining women for men (and vice versa), but if you don't already agree then it's just going to sound like misogynistic dribble. I will say this, it's getting to the point where if women could be replaced with realistic sex robots and artificial wombs a lot of men would take it. And it's not because men marry "jizz bucket/sandwich makers" or whatever. It's because society has become hostile towards men. Personally I think that technology is more like 100-200 years away, but that's beside the point.

One last quote I'll comment on "If so, then it's just a flipped version of the 50s, with the men home with the kids and the sex toys, and the women freed up from their mothering and sexual duties to really get powerful. Careful what you wish for!" - This quote makes sense if you think this pushback against feminism is about women getting too much equality, which I imagine is a popular narrative. But all I'll say is this - the MGTOW lifestyle is much more attractive to men than the spinster lifestyle is to women.

Anonymous said...

"the MGTOW lifestyle is much more attractive to men than the spinster lifestyle is to women."

Then why are Spinsters mostly quiet people who raise cats or whatever, when single frustrated (MGCOWs or whatever) men post long, incoherent, butthurt rants on blog posts?

Marie Snyder said...

On keeping kids from their fathers:
I failed to consider that moms would move far away, but I could understand that if their support group is back home. So, I take it, legally dads have access but can't actually exercise that access because of an imposed distance. I have a friend who's partner moved away, but they split the cost of a plane ticket once or twice a year and their son spends a month with dad. But for some, that plane ticket is out of reach. That's a real conundrum. We've got mobility rights working against parental rights. It would be hard to make a rule that can provide more rights without putting barriers to significant freedoms we've come to expect.

On support:
In my first, we had a clause that said we wouldn't revisit the amount ever, so as my partner made more and more money, I didn't get an increase in support, which makes sense in terms of maintaining the same standard of living. But there should be a way to assess the amounts regularly in cases where the support-payer makes less money over time or loses their job entirely. Without question, there just has to be a much more fair system for determining support. As someone who struggled a bit here and there, I would prefer having more for kids 0-5, then less later because those were hard years to manage. I couldn't afford to keep my job and have two kids in daycare, so I had to take a leave and babysit. I'm just lucky I was in a job that let me take a leave and come back later with the same seniority as when I left. Most people aren't that lucky. Universally affordable daycare would fix that problem, though.

I think your russian roulette analogy is 'bang on', and it's a problem that has to be fixed. Human nature has us wired to take as much as we can get, so the law has to be able to temper that with more reasonable suggestions.

On feminism:
I don't think feminism is the problem, though. Feminism is about ensuring women have the same rights as men, not more rights than men. The problem is when family law blindly thinks moms are the best caretakers (which is sexist) and doesn't look at the big picture for everyone involved. Feminism makes sure that women have access to equal employment so women can help support a family. That's good for everyone involved.

On artificial wombs:
I know it's difficult, but it is possible for men to adopt. It can take years, and you might not end up with a newborn, but it can be done right now. And there are surrogates if you really want to pass on your genes. Options exist today. They're costly, but likely no less than the high-tech version of the future. But I wonder how much anyone really wants to raise a child entirely on their own. Beyond finances, it's really nice to have someone to spell you off or help make some complicated decisions about school issues or friend problems, etc.

On "...society has become hostile towards men"
I think men have had to adapt dramatically over the last several decades as women have taken on traditionally males roles. Since women entered the workforce, the jobs are more thinly spread. And I think the stereotypes around masculinity can be toxic to boys and men. But I'm not sure family law decisions are hostile towards men as much as they are lazy and/or efficient in their quick allotment to women. Have expectations of men's roles exceeded anything realistic? In what way has society in general become hostile towards men?

Marie Snyder said...

On MGTOW and Spinsters:
I'm not so sure of your conclusion. There's a pretty significant movement of "separatists" on-line - women who want to live completely without men. I don't think we all need to pair up into dyads, but I don't understand writing off an entire gender. I've said so on separatist blogs as well. Both sides are getting sidelined by a red herring that says all your issues are because of people with different gonads. The argument doesn't go deeply enough to address other factors that can make it difficult for any two people to live together for an extended period (not to mention how much someone we love can trigger our own shit). In all those 3 Men and a Baby movies, it's made to look fun and funny, but in real life, men raising children together can run into the same dynamics - different levels of messiness, noise tolerance, parenting styles, energy levels, money management styles, etc. It's hard no matter how you slice it.

We can all choose to live completely alone, but that's merely a way to skirt around 'doing our work' - figuring out how to actually solve the problems in communication or living style instead of fleeing from them.

Marie Snyder said...

I found out about custody rights if a parent wants to move: If the other parent is against the move, s/he can either file for custody or "get an order saying the parent with custody cannot move away with the children." So, once you have children with someone, the parental rights of the other parent overrule your mobility rights. You have to plan on staying put or plan on seeing your children less often.

Larry Hamelin said...

It's peripheral to this post but...

I work to remember this myself: When another kid gets killed by police I take a minute to remind myself of all the awesome cops there are out there who are risking their lives to keep us safe. If we start assigning the behaviours of a few bad apples to the entire group, then we'll just have so many more to hate and so few allies to work towards a better way to live and love together. We can't take sides in a ridiculous war. The stakes are way too high right now. We work together as fellow citizens of this wounded planet, or we all die trying.

I would push back against this statement because, well, reasons. If you want to explore the topic in more depth, I'd be happy to share my thoughts.

Marie Snyder said...

To clarify that paragraph a bit: It's not to say that we should excuse the cops specifically, nor do I mean to imply that we shouldn't actively work to change the system that creates the rotten apples, but that we have to keep our preconceived ideas of each type of person in check until we get to know that person specifically.