There no longer exists a social structure that supports the Christian Life Trajectory.
Author’s Note: This essay was authored by NovaSeeker, with input from Jack.
Length: 3,100 words
Reading Time: 11 minutes
Previously, Deti summarized The Feminist Life Script (2020 December 17). This pattern of life formation — which impacts young women most directly, but impacts young men’s development as well — has been a topic of conversation and debate in the sphere for several years. But there has been very little discussion of the Christian Life Script, which seems to have been swept under the collective social rug since at least the 1990s, if not before.
“If I could wave a magic wand over the whole [male vs. female] thing, and offer something actually doable and reasonable…
Instead of trying to build a time machine and go back and undo suffrage, or Lancelot, I would ask women with daughters to make these kinds of statements to them:
“Men are capable of incredible depths of feeling, devotion, commitment and sacrifice. All the way unto the death of themselves to protect and provide for those they love. Why not work on making yourself a woman that one of these men might want to feel that way about? Because once you find one, you will never be loved like that again until you meet Christ.”
That statement is absolutely beyond the pale of polite conversation today because sitcom dads are retards or something.”
The reason this sound advice has become trite is because the whole conversation is based on the old regime, commonly referenced as the “1950’s era”, which is now denounced as “the Patriarchy”. Note that this obsession with “the 1950s!?!” has now become a meme, not because the related life script was created by the culture of the 1950s, but because the 1950s is the most recent cultural era in which the model was socially permitted to openly predominate in a way that was socially celebrated rather than pathologized. While it is true, therefore, as critics sometimes point out, that the average age of both sexes at first marriage reached a recent historical low during the late 1950s era, as compared with the earlier 20th and later 19th Centuries, the prior periods nevertheless still featured the same life script as the 1950s did, in terms of the most common life priorities of people. The common denominator of all such life priorities prior to marriage was the culmination and preservation of social and financial securities leading to marriage, sex, and raising a family. This stands in stark contrast to the current “feminist life script” which is entirely focused on everything other than steps leading to marriage. So comprehensively, the old regime highlighted in the 1950s era represented a “continuity of life” script — albeit with earlier marital ages due to unprecedent levels of prosperity enjoyed in the United States during that period. Not only did this system encourage continuity within the lifespan of the individual, it was also a lifestyle that was continuous with prior periods and generations, rather than one that posed a fundamental break with that prior life script, as was seen in the cultural developments after 1967.
Conservative Christians and other tradition-oriented people revere the old social regime because it included widespread social support for, and approval of, what we might call a Christian Life Script. According to the idealized version of this life script as it most recently existed in the 1950s era, the husband had a successful career and was able to earn enough money to support a large family comfortably. The wife doted on her husband and tended to the home and children meticulously and joyfully. Children grew up with an intact family, and more often than not, experienced the glorious presence of God in the home and community interactions. Old TV shows from this era, like Father Knows Best, Leave it to Beaver, and Andy Griffith, and (relatively) more recent TV shows such as The Cosby Show and Seventh Heaven showcased this dynamic which was put forth as an ideal to be emulated. Granted, this system was rife with various misgivings and errors of attribution, including the bumbling father archetype, Chivalry, and low levels of progressivism (as an appeal to cultural relevancy), but for the most part, it worked for the majority of those who chose this path, to a greater or a lesser degree, and the absolute failure rate was low. It is important to note as well that the actual interior “conversion” of the individuals engaged in the Christian Life Script cannot be judged from our time period and perspective — what can be judged is that the external arrangements of life were more or less conducive to the development of such conversion in individuals who were minded to do so.
Beginning in the first quarter of the 20th Century, there emerged a series of marginal subcultures which, over time, grew in popularity and influence at the expense of the Christian Life Script. These subcultures included the culture of the Flappers (1920s), the Beat Culture (1940s), Greaser Culture (1950s), the Sexual Revolution (1960s), Women’s Liberation (1970s), Divorce Culture (1980s), Political Correctness Progressivism (1990s), Post-Modernism (2000s), Gay liberation and Intersectionality (2010s), and the current wave of CRT/Wokism. These cultural movements each first appeared on the margins of normative social life, but over time, their larger effect has been to erode the old social order and mores and gradually shift the Overton window of morality and accepted (and expected) behaviors over time.
This marginal effect was made possible and greatly amplified by (at least) two massive game-changing social/technological shifts which I covered in The Lopsided Liberalized Mating Market (2021 February 17). I’ll touch upon these briefly in the next section before continuing on.
Modern Values and “Conveniences” have undermined the former Christian Life Script
The first shift concerns reproduction. Safe, cheap, legal abortion and safe, cheap, reliable contraception both worked, together, to remove the “natural check” on female sexuality. While it’s true that both of these existed historically, and it’s also true that pornography has existed since the time of cave drawings — suffice to say, the contemporary versions of each are more socially impactful in obvious ways in our technology-driven context.
The second shift is the continued change in the focus of economic activity away from occupations that depended on male strength and towards the kinds of activities that obviate physical strength, favor brain power, and, at the same time, provide for a good deal of free social and leisure time. This general move towards convenience, comfort, and leisure is commonly lauded as the summit of technological process, however, it carried some d@mning consequences.
A core element of the second set of changes is that they made economic independence from specific men (i.e., fathers and husbands), in a true sense, viable for most women in a way that it never was historically. The fact that this happened roughly around the same time as the changes in reproductive technology (and their related legal regime) combined to create the incredibly dislocating social revolution we saw in the final third of the 20th century — a time where the entirety of the relationship between men and women was changed or, rather, began to be changed in a way that shifted things away from where things had been for most of human history until then, and into … something different, the contours of which have, even today, not yet settled. By my reckoning, if the sexual revolution were a baseball game, we’re probably somewhere around the bottom of the 4th inning.
Critically, these changes acted to sideline the existing life script fairly quickly. The reason this happened is that the old Christian Life Script didn’t include financially independent, career-minded women in it — the old script divided roles and tasks between the sexes, and was focused on marriage. The new script threw men and women together as “equal” participants in all areas of life, and focused on personal development and what gradually came to be known as “self-actualization”, into which marriage could be squeezed but for which it was not essential. The core of the new life script was personal development and advancement, not marriage and family life — again, the latter could be a part of the former if one wished it to be, still, but it was not the core of the system any longer. Now, the individual and his or her prerogatives, desires, goals and wants, all became paramount, each of which was to be determined and developed by the individual, acting as independently as possible in order to ensure the greatest level of “authenticity” to one’s “true self”.
These two changes were therefore neither minor nor incremental — together they constituted a sea change! Wrapped together they formed the core of an epochal social change that flipped over the board game of sexual relations, and one that caused the new Feminist Life Script to emerge virtually overnight, in the space of a mere decade or two following the “main quake”.
The Dragon is Unleashed
It is often stated, both around the Manosphere and in the broader discourse as well, that the true nature of women is now being revealed, now that the “restrictions” and “rules” of the old regime have been removed.
However, contemporary women are NOT acting according to their true nature, either according to God’s covenant order or according to their simple biological natures. Instead, today’s women are acting according to their artificially elevated sexual expression, because the natural biological checks on that have been taken away by technologically, quite deliberately.
In the natural state (and in much of the United States prior to around 1960), women having sexual relations ran a significant risk of pregnancy. If this risk came to fruition, and a woman was not married, it led to various levels of considerably unpleasant social and life outcomes for the woman in question, which led to the related sexual behaviors (i.e., the ones that led to one becoming pregnant without being married) being socially punished in various ways.
And even aside from the social penalties they were made to pay for unwed pregnancies, few women relished becoming single mothers in that regime — in a way that is virtually unthinkable today. Such women in that era (and prior ones) led a socially challenging and financially hard-scrabble life for decades as a result of that single decision. Suffice it to say that these morbid outcomes discouraged most women from indulging, at least extensively, in extra-marital sexual relations.
While it is true that some women did so and placed the children up for adoption, or had “back alley” abortions, or even left the child on someone’s steps, these situations were all outside the norm, and most women succeeded in avoiding these eventualities by the straightforward step of avoiding what was previously (now rather quaintly) termed “going all the way”.
It may also be tempting for some to think of this shift as a technological development which allows women’s sinful nature to go unfettered and uncorrected. In other words, so as to say something like, “Biological realities without technological advancements naturally tempered those underlying urges for a while”. While this may be technically true, it is nevertheless distorting because the phrase “for a while” is doing an awful lot of work. In reality, “for a while” means “the entire history of the human species except for the last 50-70 years”.
It seems far truer to state outright that women have been unnaturally liberated from precisely the naturally designed context of God-ordained sexuality, and that what we are seeing is not the true nature of women’s sexuality, but rather the expression of women’s sexuality when the natural “checks and balances” are artificially transcended. It is critical to understand this aspect of what has happened, because in fact, this is all part of a broader intellectual and cultural trend which involves the shedding not just of moral boundaries, but also of natural ones. Separating sex from procreation was the first step in that direction. Then equal opportunity, then divorce, and so on, as I’ve described earlier. Transgenderism is the current iteration. The basic idea that unites all these changes is that naturally imposed limits on the human person should not be respected, but that instead, we should use science and law to transcend those limits as we may choose to do so for our own ends. The term “transhumanism” is often used for this dragon, and I may be addressing this in a future essay.
The New Life Script Emerges
The impact of this unleashing of women’s unchecked sexuality on the general life script is clear. It has shifted the focus for young women away from marriage and children and towards what can only be euphemistically called “self-actualization”, which invariably involves higher education (and debt), dating around (expressed hypergamy), and profligate sex for fun and exploration (riding the CC). This is, in fact, regarded to be the “dividend” of these developments by generations of women, and as the true fruit of the process of women’s liberation. Entire older cohorts of women, women who were too old to reap most of the benefits of the emergent regime when it came into force, play the role of enthusiastic elder cheerleaders, vicariously living, through their daughters and grand-daughters, lives they would have themselves preferred to live, had they had the “good fortune” to have been born a bit later in history. For all of these cohorts of women, going back to the old life script is fully out of the question, and the mere suggestion of doing so is treated with scornful disdain.
And, it is also out of the question for the overwhelming majority of fathers who have raised daughters who were born after 1965, and this stance has gained increasing intensity over time. These fathers have proved to be some of the strongest supporters of the elimination of the old life script and its transformation into the new one, which is built around the priority of securing young women’s economic independence, career trajectory, sexual satisfaction and excitement, and self-actualization, all before “settling down” at some “appointed time” (which keeps increasing in age) and actually marrying.
Simply put, the changes to the economy and the rise of the “opt in” nature of a durable pregnancy as a consequence of sex made the old life script moot in the eyes of most people, and ushered in, over the course of a mere generation, an utterly new life script which has a completely different focus, and therefore leads to very different outcomes for everyone involved.
What will the New Christian Life Script look like?
The final form of the emergent life script in the broader culture is still very much a work in progress, because things are still changing — technology is still working massive changes in this area, whether people want to deny or minimize them or not.
But in any case, we should expect that the entire attitudes towards everything concerning sex, marriage, family life, relationships between men and women, sex and gender roles and the like, will, when the final model eventually emerges, be utterly transformed and changed.
That strongly suggests adaptation is required. It is certainly true that hoping for rollbacks of any of these developments is foolish. That generally doesn’t happen very often in history, and bromides like “what can’t last won’t last” are comforting to hear when your perspective is losing a cultural war in a rout, but in reality, things we don’t like can last well beyond our lifetime, and even that of our children. So hoping they will be reversed in the context of any actionable, relevant timeframe is not productive, in my opinion.
At the same time, however, waving one’s hands and saying, “Why can’t we just…?” when the rest that follows is something like, “…because we need to get people to understand that they are better off doing X rather than Y”, is also not productive, because unless you provide incentives for people to do X instead of Y, you’re going to get Y and not X. That’s just how people roll in a Prisoner’s Dilemma. Women have no incentive to listen to that message, or any other kind of message, other than a few outliers here and there, because following the path of Y is what is incented, and so that is where they will go, especially when there are a number of vectors pointing them towards choice Y, such as,
- Y matches their unnaturally freed biological desires (unchecked now by social/biological constraints).
- Y matches the common human desire to pursue one’s own desires and pleasures.
- Y opens the door to one’s self-determined course of action.
- Y matches the strong cultural messaging.
- Y is pushed and supported by parents, including in particular fathers.
Taken together, all of this supports the essence of the sin in Genesis 3, which started humanity down this entire road. It won’t be overturned by wishing people thought differently, or that they didn’t respond to incentives. The underlying cause is much stronger than that, and isn’t susceptible to being waved away like that.
To be effective, a new Christian Life Script needs to take these five aspects into account. That is to say,
- The Life Script must channel one’s common human social and biological desires towards the enterprises of community, marriage, and family.
- The Life Script must offer opportunities for sanctification, allowing one to pursue one’s own desires and pleasures in a longitudinally fulfilling manner.
- The Life Script allows one to choose a self-determined course of action.
- The Life Script is explained through education and endorsed by strong cultural messaging.
- The Life Script is solidly portrayed as an effective model by parents.
The challenge remains of how this can be established. And while it should be clear to all Christians that this kind of transformation in the life script and the expectations about the life path of Christians requires the work of the Holy Spirit, nevertheless it will also require the work and effort of many individual Christians to articulate, incarnate, and disseminate approaches and practices, on a practical level, with other like-minded people so as to cultivate the emergence of a new consensus within Christian culture regarding this. This is a process, and it will take time to work through, unfortunately, given the power of the social and other forces involved.