When I first heard of Dalrock pretty soon after his blog got started I was suspicious of him because I was suspicious of the MRAs (Men’s Rights Activists) in general and I saw Dalrock primarily as being an MRA. Dalrock was an “exotic” MRA, a different kind of MRA, a Christian MRA, but an MRA nonetheless. He was an MRA first and a Christian second in how I saw him. MRAs in general were and are an atheist bunch, very secular minded. To see self-professed Christians talking like MRAs with their kind of “male only” focus endlessly advocating for the male point of view and fixated on male interests only was a novel and new thing; Dalrock being the leading example of this new kind of MRA, the Christian MRA.
In my thinking about Dalrock after first learning about him and trying to figure out what he was about and what his emergence meant regarding the wider gender politics scene the main question in my mind was whether Dalrock indicated MRAs invading Christianity which would be a bad thing or whether Dalrock indicated Christians invading MRA land and making MRAs more Christian which would be a good thing.
At that time I saw MRAs as basically being the male version of feminists, more feminist than the feminists themselves, more radically committed to “true gender equality” than the feminists were, male narcissists just like the feminists were female narcissists.
How I saw Christianity, conservative Christianity, at that time is that Christianity was good because Christianity represented the interests of the whole community; Christianity was a sub-culture that was trying to make things work for the community overall, for the family overall. Christianity took everybody’s interests into account; both men and women working together in a complementarian fashion; hence the name Christian Complementarianism. Feminists only cared about women’s interests, MRAs only cared about men’s interests, the Christian Complementarians however cared about the family overall and were trying to make things work in real life, therefore the Christian Complementarian view was superior.
So here comes Dalrock as an MRA, a Christian MRA, taking on as his specialty attacking the undercover sneaky feminism of Christian Complementarianism.
Is this good or is this bad?
I tended to like what Dalrock actually wrote, he made interesting clever observations, I could see that yes there were real feminist tendencies that Dalrock was uncovering and noticing that the casual observer probably wouldn’t notice without Dalrock’s help in pointing things out. I did tend to be annoyed when Dalrock criticized established church hierarchy as being feminist friendly or feminist influenced because I thought he wasn’t giving due respect to those in authority over him who were trying to take everybody’s interests into account and were trying to make family life work overall in their congregations; that Dalrock was fixated on only the man’s interests and was losing sight of the big picture.
Regarding the question of whether Dalrock represented MRAs getting more Christian or Christianity becoming more like the MRAs my thinking was that since Christianity in general is more powerful than the MRA phenomenon the Christian MRA more likely represents Christianity expanding into MRA territory rather than the other way around.
So my basic thinking regarding Dalrock was that he was a Christian MRA whose focus was on attacking stealth feminism within the Christian church. The MRA side of Dalrock, the men’s interests only orientation, annoyed me but I liked that his main focus was on fighting against feminist infiltration in the church.
Later on Dalrock took to directly attacking some of the big name Christian Complementarian leaders; in particular Mark Driscoll. Mark Driscoll was one of my favorite Christian pastors, I admiringly watched a lot of his youtube videos, so in particular I didn’t like Dalrock’s attacks against Mark Driscoll. In particular Dalrock did not like the “man up” sermons of various Christian Complementarian pastors, this strongly offending me because it seemed like Dalrock most disliked the male responsibility part of these “man up” messages, that what Dalrock really hated was male responsibility, not stealth feminism. Anything advocating for male responsibility or the interests of women Dalrock condemned as feminism. This leading me to write my first post attacking Dalrock “Cowards, Chauvinists, and Dalrock.”
After Dalrock’s attacks on big name Christian Complementarian leaders for their “man up” sermons I saw Dalrock as mostly attacking male responsibility and him interpreting anything female friendly as being feminism in disguise. Basically Dalrock was trying to turn Christianity into male centric MRA style male narcissism, that his attacks against stealth feminism in the church were really just attacks against women’s interests in general.
Then as time went on I did get the sense that Dalrock was doing a lot of woman bashing, that he was relentlessly critical of women, that he was attacking women in general rather than just the negative influence of feminism on women. In addition when I went back to the source material of what Christian Complementarians were saying in their own words that Dalrock was citing and criticizing I usually didn’t find anything objectionable about it, that what the Christian Complementarians said sounded pretty good and reasonable to me. This led to my low point in my view of Dalrock, when I wrote the “Dalrock Hurting Women” post.
Shortly after writing the “Dalrock Hurting Women” post and the attack on Rollo Tomassi “Rollo Tomassi’s Mistake in Shunning the Idealism and Women of His Youth” I was sort of wondering if I was becoming too critical of these big name manosphere leaders, if I was being fair and reasonable in my criticism of them. This led me to do some research on what the “Red Pill” is really about, in particular it led me to do some reading from The Red Pill forum on Reddit in particular.
This is what led me to my amazing discovery that The Red Pill was actually producing some social good; in particular that it was leading some men to try to get their girlfriends to stop working. That some men at least interpreted The Red Pill message as saying that they should actually take care of women, financially support women, more. This led to my “Rethinking the Manosphere and MRAs” post.
Then after this I started to view MRAs and the Manosphere in a more favorable light; MRAs were the primitive version of patriarchy rather than just being an extreme version of feminism. The Mansophere was stage 2 of the MRA phenomenon, more socially conservative than the “true gender equality” obsessed stage 1 original MRAs.
Continuing to read Dalrock, I never stopped reading Dalrock, it seemed to me that he was lightening up in his negativity towards women. He started to become playful in his mocking of Christian Complementarians and various feminist minded things various supposedly Christian conservative men would say. It seemed to me that the tone of Dalrock’s blog improved and became less harsh. That he became more sympathetic to women.
My view of Dalrock then improved quite a bit after discovering that Marry Kassian really did say some blatantly feminist things while pretending to be in favor of wives submitting to their husbands; Marry Kassian being somebody Dalrock singled out for criticism frequently. This is the first time I thought, surprise, Dalrock was right. Marry Kassian is a big name among Christian Complementarians. I didn’t quite know what to make of her, whether she was mainstream or not, but what she said clearly undermined male headship while pretending to support male headship. This leading to my “A Husband’s Right to Punish his Wife” post.
My view of Dalrock improved yet again when I discovered Matt Chandler of all people directly attacking Christian Patriarchy adherents; Matt Chandler being like the most mainstream authoritative voice of Christian Complementarianism of them all; Matt Chandler being the head of the Acts 29 Network. This discovery leading to my post “Christian Complementarianism is Female Controlled Patriarchy.”
Dalrock’s focus is attacking Christian Complementarians and other supposedly Christian conservatives for their feminist way of thinking. The thing is there is plenty of feminist thinking among the Complementarians and other mainstream conservatives for Dalrock to point out and make fun of and attack. Dalrock has a lot of material to work with.
Dalrock is basically right when it comes to his criticisms of Christian Complementarians and other conservatives; this is something that I see now.
So what do I think of Dalrock now? Dalrock is like a leader of Christian MRAs, yes people who are Christians can still have an MRA orientation or mindset.
Regarding the question of whether MRAs are invading Christianity or is Christianity invading the MRAs? This question doesn’t matter so much anymore since they are both forms of patriarchy; MRAs being patriarchy from a secular point of view and Christianity being patriarchy from a religious heritage point of view. Yes MRAs are still male centric and this is problematic but the feminism that Dalrock attacks within the church is real.
Dalrock represents a patriarchal impulse within the church, a desire among Christian men in Christian Complementarian churches for “real patriarchy” or “real headship” in their churches. At the same time the “men’s interests only” mindset of Dalrock and Christian MRAs in general is still a problem. Christian MRAs still have the weaknesses of MRAs in general.
I can cheer on Dalrock for what he says in his posts but I am still bothered by what Dalrock doesn’t say, what he leaves out, what he leaves out being men’s responsibilities and men’s duties and how exactly the interests of women are to be protected and maintained within an overall patriarchal family system.
There seems to be a strange idea among Christian MRAs that men are naturally good, that men have no problems within themselves in how they view women and how they treat women, that all problems would just go away if men were just given their “rightful authority” and then allowed to do what they want. That men automatically naturally regulate themselves and everything would return to virtue if we just got rid of the female sin of feminism. That feminism is just female power mongering and manipulation and men’s pandering to such impulses in women. Feminism involves male sin as well and I don’t see Christian MRAs attacking the male side of feminist sin or even acknowledging that the male side of feminist sin exists.
In terms of specifically attacking Dalrock Dalrock is still attacking chivalry. What is Chivalry? Chivalry is men’s duty to provide for and protect women; in other words Chivalry represents women’s interests. Patriarchy is based on Chivalry; Chivalry being men’s duties under patriarchy.
Dalrock states in his recent post “Why Game is a threat to our values.”:
“As I already noted, chivalry is what converts feminist demands into concrete action. But chivalry is also the way we reconcile the concepts of male and female virtue. Our unstated assumption is that being chivalrous is sexy. This is why Game is such a corrosive concept in our society. Game teaches that chivalry is an attraction killer, and that women are instead attracted to a host of traits that are neutral at best.”
Here Dalrock is advocating the idea that chivalry is feminist and weak, that chivalry is men begging for women’s approval by pandering to women, that male chivalry is what gives feminism its power. What I don’t like about this formulation is that it presents taking women’s interests into account as feminist and pandering and weak. Chivalry is about men providing for and protecting women and it is what makes men dominant over women. Chivalry is strong, Chivalry is indeed sexy, and Chivalry is moral. Women’s interests cannot be ignored when putting together a moral system to live by.
Also I don’t like Dalrock’s attacks on child support. Dalrock states in his post “The gospel of child support.”:
“In preaching this evil gospel, for the destruction of marriage is evil, Brother Jed is ignoring the only truly innocent party to the process he loves: the children. Child support is designed to replace marriage, and it is wickedly effective at this. The point of the post Brother Jed was responding to was that child support creates a powerful incentive for women to deliberately become single mothers.”
Child support is not new and child support is not feminist. In the era of coverture the father was 100% responsible for the support of his children no matter what. Under the father custody rule of coverture the father would decide with whom the child would live and the father was totally responsible for the support of the child. For a history of how child support worked in the past before feminism I recommend the post by Sanne at Adventures in Keeping House titled “The One Who Pays, Decides.”
In blaming child support for the increase in out-of-wedlock births and divorce Dalrock is again implying that taking women’s interests into account is bad, that it is feminist, and that the problems of the family are due to women not being punished enough for their bad behavior.
Dalrock is the leading Christian MRA blog; the good part is Dalrock’s attack against feminism in the church. Hopefully Christian Complementarianism will morph into true traditional Christian Patriarchy over time. There is still however a lack of male duty and acknowledgment of male sin among the Christian MRA blogs. Dalrock does not present the whole picture, he only tells one side of the story, the part that is unfair to men. While protecting men from manipulation and abuse men must also make sure that they are not in sin themselves as men; that they are taking the initiative to provide for and protect women and placing women’s interests above their own and keeping their wives out of the workforce while at the same time insisting upon their rights and their authority as men.