There have been a few interesting conversations recently about swallowing the red pill, and what this means. One happened last week at Dalrock’s blog, where there was quite an interesting discussion about what it means to have swallowed the red pill, as opposed to simply tasting it and spitting it out. Earlier today, there was also an interesting conversation over at SSM’s blog about attractiveness and righteousness, which touched on some of the same issues as the discussion at Dalrock’s, albeit from a more explicitly Christian, or at least church-related, perspective.
To follow on some of the comments I made at SSM’s, from my perspective the “core” of swallowing the red pill and keeping it down consists of the following:
(a) accepting the true nature of what women find attractive and how female attraction works,
(b) understanding what it takes, in general, and what it would take, for you specifically, to generate enough attraction to attract the women you wish to attract, and
(c) deciding whether to do that or, if not, deciding to opt for another solution.
Coughing up the red pill involves a rejection of either (a), (b) or (c). That is, either a reluctance to accept the reality of what women find attractive, or a reluctance to accept what must be done, either generally or for you, to generate that attraction, or a reluctance to decide either to do what it takes to do so, or find another solution (i.e., falling back into a blue pill position). Rollo has said that he finds it upsetting when a man spits up the red pill, and refuses to take action on what he has come to know is true by observation or otherwise. To me, it isn’t upsetting, but it is a waste of time and energy and therefore pointless.
To me, a fundamental problem in this respect is that many guys don’t really want to accept what it is that women find attractive. They learn the red pill truths, and then they don’t want them to be true (for various reasons), so they spit up the pill. I think this is because there is a more or less natural progression along “the red pill path” that kind of goes like this:
(1) learning what the red pill says –> (2) rejecting what it says because you don’t want it to be true and think it is misogynist –> (3) realizing that it may be true, and then really hating women for being what they are, and can’t really help being (i.e., veering towards actual misogyny) –> (4) deciding either to (i) accept women for who they are, and work with this knowledge to create better options for yourself, or (ii) spitting up the pill and falling back to position (2) or (3).
It seems to me that a particularly Christian variation of point (3) of the red pill path is realizing that women may work this way, but seeing it as sinful or unrighteous or unjust for them to actually do so. That is, something like “it isn’t just that an otherwise good Christian woman is more attracted to an edgy bad-boy type (i.e., not necessarily a sinner, but a pushy/aggressive/dominant type who doesn’t treat her “nicely” in the eyes of the observer) than she is to me, after all I am good looking, earn well, and am godly”. This strikes me as a rejection of the red pill because it assigns blame for attractions which are, in and of themselves, not voluntary. The guy in question is not a sinner, but is simply, in Game parlance, an “alpha” male, and this generates attraction in and of itself, quite apart from how any obvious godliness does. To rail against this is to reject the legitimacy of female attraction vectors, and, assuming again that the guy is not a sinner and there is no fornication happening, is really just a rejection of the red pill dressed in Christian garb.
(Please note that I am not specifically criticizing any one commenter here, or suggesting that any one commenter has actually spit up the red pill. My observations here were sparked by a conversation with a specific commenter, and have clearly grown out of that discussion, but are in no way observations about *that* specific person at all — only he knows his situation, and I do not presume to know it.)
To me, for Christians, it is important to recognize that in mate selecting, both men and women have List A and List B. List A is what attracts (for men, mostly looks, for women, a stew of looks/charisma/dominance/status), while List B is what filters among those who have passed the List A cut. Note that the cut can also be done in the other direction — you can limit the pool to people who meet the List B criteria and then select from that cut based on attraction, but the problem with this latter approach is that the pool size gets too small, typically, at the outset.* The “righteousness” type stuff is on List B, for men and women alike. Most people, men and women alike, don’t look at List B unless you have already selected the person as satisfying List A. Note that List A is largely visceral and not a checklist, unlike List B — separating it out here is for the convenience of the analysis only, and is not intended to suggest that the way that the two Lists are used is identical.
For church settings, it is somewhat ironic but nonetheless true that because you have already selected for List B by limiting your search to a church setting, where the satisfaction of List B criteria is assumed to some degree, you are left with primarily selecting among that group based on List A criteria — basically the same as a night club or singles bar, because List B is similarly off the table as a selection basis (for a very different reason, obviously, than is the case for a bar or night club, but the result is nevertheless similar). As it turns out, in fact there is substantial truth to the “Sunday Morning Night Club” idea, quite apart from the spectre of PUAs “preying” on church girls. But in any case, complaining that the fact that you are not making the List A cut because you are righteous is inapposite. Either, in a non-church setting, you are simply not attractive enough to make the first cut (and your own sense of what being “righteous” means may be causing that), or in a church setting, you are not showing enough List A factors to generate attraction in a pool where List B is assumed to be present. Either way, your focus needs to be on improving how you are doing against the criteria on List A.
And this is where a stumbling block is set up for a lot of Christian guys.
For various reasons (many of them cultural, some of them related to bad catechesis, bad parenting, bad church culture), we have been raising several generations of Christian guys who have a hard time being assertive, confident, dominant, and not nice, but also not sinning. The former behaviors are considered to be, if not clearly sinful, then nevertheless disrespectful, pushy, abusive and not godly, righteous or holy. So the guy thinks he is behaving righteously, when in fact he is behaving in relatively less attractive ways, and he doesn’t think that he could be more attractive, and no less righteous, by being more pushy, confident, dominant and less nice. So, he can begin to resent the fact that women are not “giving him credit” for his righteousness, and “picking bad guys” over him, when actually what is happening is that he is not showing up as an attractive guy, and this either prevents him from ever getting to List A, or from ever passing a List A screen in a church environment where List B credentials are assumed to be present. And this can create anger, resentment and a feeling that women are acting in an unjust or unfair way because they are picking guys whom this guy thinks are less righteous (but are probably just displaying more attractive characteristics).
The bottom line is this: Christian righteousness/godliness/holiness are not in and of themselves “attractive” –> that is, they aren’t on List A. You need other factors to pass the List A screen, whether it is an initial one, or the only one (in a church setting where List B is presumed to be pre-screened to some degree). It isn’t unjust or unfair if you are not passing the List A screen. Saying that it is so just means you are spitting up the red pill by refusing to accept the legitimacy and reality of women’s own attraction vectors. Attraction is automatic for the most part — it is a reaction to stimuli. It is neither righteous nor unrighteous, just nor unjust, it just is. It needs to be accepted, because it is a part of how women are (just as women need to accept what men find attractive, and mostly do, apart from whiny feminists). For Christian men, as for most others, the key is working on List A. Otherwise, you’re really just dressing up a garden variety rejection of red pill truth in Christian vestments, which doesn’t really get you any closer to your life goals.
* — Unfortunately, this is the approach taken in most church settings — that is, trying to select only at church is basically setting List B criteria (or at least the hope of having more of them present) as the first cut, and then trying to find attractive people in that pool. This is often a bad strategy, because of the pool size.
N.B. — I will get back to responding to the conservatism post soon, as well as continuing the series on the super-norm. I’ve been busy at work and otherwise, but will turn to these in the next few days I expect.