Are radical feminists able to court and marry successfully?

Stuart Scheiderman wrote a post about something I have encountered even with complementarian Christian women.

He writes:

In England a reporter named Sarah Bridge… has just written a book about bettering her dating skills. It is unabashedly entitled: First Catch Your Husband: Adventures On The Dating Front Line.

To promote her book she has offered a synopsis in the form of a long article in the London Daily Mail.

In Bridge’s analysis, successful thirty-something women have developed habits and routines that are perfectly suited to singlehood. Independent and autonomous, they make their own decisions,conduct their lives as they see fit and do not answer to anyone.

For a single person, these are good habits. When you are unattached they will serve you well.

Unfortunately, a woman who is looking for a man will find these same habits to be an obstacle.

[…]Normally, a woman who has earned her independence will defend it fiercely. She will refuse to compromise her habits, her rituals or her routines. An alien life form, i.e., a man, will seem to be undermining her equanimity. The closer he gets, the more she connects, the more she will feel threatened.

Even if she has not undergone any dating traumas, she will, under normal circumstances have a difficult time engaging a relationship, to say nothing of a marriage.

When such a woman meets a man the impulse to defend her singlehood will overpower her wish to connect.

As Bridge sees it, independent women defend themselves by being critical, overbearing, and, to use her word, “snippy.”

Here’s one of the women interviewed by the author about her dating technique:

She was not connecting with them but was asserting her superiority at their expense. She was playing out a scenario that she could report to her girlfriends, thus providing them with endless entertainment. It’s called solidarity with the sisterhood.

Seeing that the sisterhood finds it uproarious women who share these anecdotes cannot understand why the men in question never call them again. Often they console themselves by saying that these men are easily intimidated by strong women.

Beyond showing off their ability to provide an endless stream of criticism, these women insist on being in complete control. They must be in charge.

X Factor judge Kelly Rowland explains that she chooses the restaurant, opens the door for herself and pays the bill. Of course, she is asserting her independence, but she is also acting as though he is not there and is not a man.

Evidently, the man is will be thinking to himself: why does she need me for? If he has been rendered superfluous, a piece of furniture, then he is not likely to stay around very long.

Bridge says that her generation learned these bad habits from their mothers. One must add that their mothers were simply mouthing the feminist party line.

It seems to me that the problem that modern feminists are having is that they are treating relationships as something that is all about their fulfillment and not putting a moment’s thought into marriage as an institution with certain requirements. If marriage is the goal they are trying to reach, and they want to have a husband and children, then they need to think about how to reach that goal realistically.

Here’s what they should be asking about husbands:

  • what is the goal of having a husband?
  • why should a man be interested in marriage and fatherhood at all?
  • what are the responsibilities of a husband and father?
  • what should men be able to do before they are ready for marriage?
  • what does a husband need from his wife?
  • what should a woman be able to do meet those needs?
And about children:
  • what is the goal of having children?
  • what do children need from their mother?
  • what do children need from their father?
  • what should a woman do to prepare to raise children?
  • why are marriage and biological parents important to children?

And about marriage:

  • what is the purpose of marriage?
  • how should men and women form their characters to be ready for marriage?
  • what worldview best grounds moral values like fidelity and self-sacrifice?
  • what causes a man to remain faithful and committed to a woman into her old age?

I think if I had to pick one thing for a woman to focus on, it would be the need to take seriously the leadership role of the man in the relationship. Men (if they are good men) all have the desire to achieve certain goals through some plan. They are looking for the right woman to help them. If a woman wants to get a good man to commit, then she has to show him that she is willing to learn about his plan for marriage and to do what he expects her to do to help him to achieve those goals – or better, to come up with effective ways to achieve those goals that he did not even think of. A smart man will expect a woman to demonstrate her ability to help him and her willingness to help him before he thinks about marriage. What is needed is not the ability to take orders, but the ability to innovate in order to solve problems.

Men know how to find out if a woman has prepared for marriage and parenting and we know how to find out if she wants to understand and care for a husband. What I see quite a lot these days from women is 1) a refusal to believe that men know anything of value, and 2) a refusal to be led by men in a courtship, and 3) dismissing men’s emotional needs. I think a lot of this is caused 1) their mothers did not choose a man who would be there to teach them morality and religion when they were growing up, 2) lack of trust for men caused by past promiscuity, drug abuse and partying, 3) a prior commitment to feminism and career which causes them to be dismissive and disrespectful of men’s needs, goals and plans. Many women today think that men are there primarily to serve their needs, and not to lead them.

For men, the best piece of advice I have is to remain chaste. It is a capital error to allow women like the ones described in Stuart’s post to manipulate you with sex. Feminists use sex to get attention from men without having to listen to them, care about them, learn from them, or follow their lead. The best thing to do to detect a bad woman is to explain your plan to her and then ask her to help or to study something that will help or to solve problems or to take on obligations or anything that she doesn’t want to do herself. It is amazing how easy it is to detect women who want a selfish “fairy tale wedding” marriage if you know what to ask them.

5 thoughts on “Are radical feminists able to court and marry successfully?”

  1. I’m not sure that it’s a bad thing that radical feminists have a hard time finding love. In fact, it might be better. They would certainly be horrible influences on any children they have. Would it be wrong to encourage them to pursue their dreams and man-independent lives to the full? The only downside would be if they try to have kids by themselves. Then they not only have messed up their own lives, but are probably on their way to messing up the lives of others.

    It would take a tremendous amount of humility for feminists to realize that their choices in life were the cause of their own unhappiness.


  2. First, I think you should ask the right question: is radical feminism designed to produce a good marriage? (Define “good”.)

    Obvious answer: no.

    If you ask if radical feminists can marry successfully, the answer is “Jessica Valenti [or insert radical, Christian-hating, abortion-loving, selfish femisogynist here] has an awesome husband and a happy marriage.” Which is so not the answer you were looking for.

    The one thing I will say is that a woman with her own career can be a good wife and mother. A career can be a woman’s way of supporting herself so that she doesn’t have to compromise her principles for matrimony or shack up with a guy to make ends meet. A career can be a woman’s way of saying, “There are no guarantees of finding a husband, especially these days, what with all these men ruined by easy access to sex and the myth of single parenthood. I better learn to rely on myself, in case there is no Mr. Right or if he doesn’t show up until I’m forty.” Also, in case you didn’t notice, a lot of women are afraid of men, even nice Christian men, divorcing them, and then being left high and dry with no way to support themselves and their babies.

    Anne of Green Gables time: “I believe in a woman being fitted to earn her own living whether or not she needs to” (or something very close to that).

    There are “stay at home” moms who have nannies, housekeepers, and cooks. The career, nor the desire for one, isn’t the enemy; it’s the hatred of family, children, and mutual submission.


    1. I think that women should definitely get a degree or two and then work a little before marriage, but I think that her husband and younger (under 5 years old) children will be happier if she stays at home after that and takes care of them. My reason for encouraging that is because the world is a dangerous place and a strong mother is needed to shepherd the children through their educations. Two of my exes have gone on to do their degrees because I encouraged them to. The first did a BA in economics, the second is in law school.


    2. I like your comment in that it implies something that I was thinking: radical independence and radical feminism aren’t the same thing. All a feminist needs to do to marry happily is marry a man who also buys into her worldview. (notice that Sandra Fluke is engaged)

      But deeply seated independence doesn’t necessarily come from a feminist ideology. It can be learned habit. It can be emotional defensiveness. It can be simple ignorance, from never having seen better. In this respect, I really wish the Church addressed fathers more, for they are the key to changing this dynamic. Many women often know that they will not be allowed to rely on their father’s support once they are 18 or out of college–not just financially, but in general. The goal of many parents is not, “You are with us until you are married,” but rather, “We want to make you independent, so that you will stand on your own, and won’t need us or anyone else.” Independence is being bred into women from a young age, and then becomes a necessity when a woman is truly on her own, especially if her parents are not believers. But it really starts with the dads and whether a woman feels like her support system and spiritual covering are in place, or whether she’s just out on her own. (“He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse.” Malachi 4:6)

      The equanimity the post speaks of is a good word to use. The desire to defend that equanimity is often about security and safety. Many women have to learn to trust God and take a risk, knowing that they have to open up and let go of their own security blanket of independence. Many men feel put off by a woman’s asserted independence, but don’t know that those walls can be melted if she’s first made to feel safe and secure in his intentions toward her. Women who are truly feminists won’t melt, of course, but those who aren’t–yet are still overly independent–will easily soften if courted properly.


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