38 Responses

  1. deti

    This is a great post.

    What I get from this is: Women, individually and collectively, have used feminism to achieve certain ends, chief among these is economic independence and sexual freedom.

    Economic independence: so women do not have to marry or depend upon unattractive men, or any men, really.

    Sexual freedom: so women can have sex with the most attractive men in the hopes of securing commitment from one of them.

    A post like this is important as well to point out that there IS a super-norm, or a set of social conventions, customs and mores. That super-norm is a big part of what makes up our civilization and how persons deal with each other on an individual and collective basis. That super-norm also lays bare the extent to which it serves one gender at the expense of the other and at this moment, it serves the feminine lopsidedly. But it really seems to be about serial monogamy as you said; which explodes the idea that women are innately monogamous.

    As an aside, it’s fascinating to see how some women behave when social conventions restraining hypergamy are removed: serial monogamy becomes the norm.

  2. Will S.

    Excellent, Novaseeker.

    Just so I’m clear, are you defining the male variant of the super-norm as the ostensible propensity of men to wish to spread their seed as widely as possible? i.e. de facto, if not de jure, polygyny?

    Are you going to, as part of this series, discuss the impact of social changes brought about by feminism on the male variant of the supernorm?

  3. Sarah's Daughter

    I’m starting to grasp it all. Thank you, Novaseeker. I’m looking forward to your future posts.

  4. Morticia

    You are making me work tonight. I’ve been interrupted 6x in my attempt to read this. I should get a gold star if I finish it.

  5. Morticia

    Finished it! I’ll be thinking on this one for awhile.

  6. Höllenhund

    I disagree with your thesis about the cultural red queen race. Has there every been an innovation of any sort that favored men instead of women, or simply favored men more than women?

  7. Morticia

    Hello Mr Novaseeker….I have a question up at my place and I’d like your input if you have the time.

  8. sunshinemary

    OK, I’ve read this essay three times now, and I think I’m following you. This part right here:

    Viewed in this way, feminism is both (1) a political movement which grew out of the ideas of the Enlightenment, as dribbled down to Marxism and critical theory in the 20th Century and (2) a force which ultimately served the rise of the female-variant of the super-norm in an unprecedented lopsided fashion, and which was forced to sacrifice its more radical ideas on the altar of the female-variant of the super-norm, precisely because the latter does not abjure heterosexuality, child-bearing and relationships with men — it simply seeks to have all of these on as favorable terms for women as possible. Viewed in this way, feminism is by far the most powerful tool ever “wielded” (more on this usage below) by the female-variant of the super-norm, and in part precisely because it is ensconced in a broader social and political movement that gives it greater viability and credibility in intellectual and philosophical terms (as misguided as many of us may take these to be). Feminism is something that truly is in some ways separate and distinct from the female variant of the super-norm, but which has nevertheless also been something that has furthered the advantage of the female variant of the super-norm to a huge degree. And the resulting situation that we experience today is clearly the result of the meeting of the two.

    Boy, that makes a lot of sense to me. This explains the phenomenon of all those nice, “conservative” Christian women like Suzanne Venker who seem to think men exist to be their personal garbagemen.

    It’s interesting to note that Christian sexual morality (the real kind, like what’s in the Bible, not the false kind that is currently accepted) is set up for hard monogamy. Not all religions are. The fact that hard monogamy represents a fairly decent compromise (even though it might tilt slight toward a feminine advantage) is important, because the Church sometimes get blamed for serving the female super-norm. In reality, if Christians would only follow what they profess to believe, both the male and female super-norms would be reasonably well-balanced.

  9. Morticia

    Sunshine Mary gets 3 gold stars.

    Mr Nova writes like he is writing law..which isn’t surprising given his profession. Dot every I and cross every t.

    I’ve been thinking a lot about how men tend to be very very thorough when they explain things, while most women tend to parse things down to their simplest forms.

    I was thinking why that might be and I realized that men generally have to convince other men of their ideas…and so the more thorough the more respectable the idea seems.

    Meanwhile, women tend to deal with children and teach them grand concepts in as simple a way as possible…and perhaps are naturally adept at dumbing things down.

    Just a theory…

    I don’t know any woman who writes like Novaseeker..but I know a handful of men who do.

  10. Morticia

    Thanks for adding me to your blogroll. I just noticed that.

  11. Cail Corishev

    I like the way you position feminism as a tool used by the super-norm, rather than the driving force of it as most people seem to think. It makes a lot more sense switched that way.

    As I said in a comment on your ‘rivers’ post, I keep thinking there has to be another factor involved, but I’m still kicking that around. I don’t want to suggest a conspiracy either, but I do think there have been conscious decisions to push certain things that go beyond the biological imperatives that were always there.

    I’m starting to picture it this way: The Reformation and Enlightenment damaged the idea of hierarchy and received truth while boosting the idea of individuality, but the family unit was still pretty solid. That eventually grew into Modernism, which Pope Leo XIII called the synthesis of all heresies, in the late 1800s. (Many things Chesterton wrote about modernism seem like they could have been written today.) That took a few decades to work its way into people’s normal mode of thinking, and just in time for that, technology made it possible (at least in theory) for motherhood and homemaking to be treated as a part-time job, and for single motherhood to be workable at all.

    So I’m starting to see it as a heresy that was bubbling under the surface for a few hundred years, but really started to cook with modernism, and then exploded into feminism, the removal of traditional social mores, and so on. But like I said, I’m still kicking that around.

  12. Rollo Tomassi


    Well done Nova.

    Replace ‘Feminine Super-Norm” with “Feminine Imperative” and you’ve finally conveyed what I’ve been trying to convince readers like SSM, Cane Caldo, CL, 7Man, Zippy and many others of for over a year now.

    Now in spite of this very well reasoned piece, expect moralistic resistance incoming.

    I should add one thing however; feminism is only the most recent, and most aggressive socialization attempt at imposing the FI or Feminine Super-Norm. The FI’s distortion of an originally male-centric chivalry by integrating ‘romantic’ or courtly love addendums was the feminism of that era. The feminine bastardization of a uniquely male form of chivalry has all the hallmarks of what you describe of feminism here.


    1. Cail Corishev

      Yes, the phenomenon of “courtly love” is an interesting one. I was watching the 1960s documentary “Civilisation,” and the host talks about how courtly love — the idea of men sitting around worshiping unattainable women — seemed to come out of nowhere, and would have been completely foreign to previous generations. Not that Romans, for instance, didn’t love their wives, but they would have laughed at the idea that a man would sacrifice his life for a woman who didn’t even notice him.

      His guess is that, because the lords of that time would tend to be gone from the castle for periods of war and whatnot, they needed a way to keep their women from screwing all the knights that stayed behind to defend the castle. So the concept of courtly love — and the art that developed from it — was a way to keep the women up in the tower and the men down on the ground seeing them as unattainable. Or at least, a way to get everyone to pretend that’s what was going on.

      1. Cail Corishev

        (I meant to add:) Which, if correct, would mean that courtly love was created primarily at the behest of male leaders, to keep the male rabble away from the choicest women. Not too unlike feminism today in some ways, maybe. The men on top who get their pick of women certainly don’t mind the way feminism has most women competing openly for 20% of the men.

  13. Escoffier
    1. veritaslounge

      It’s really textbook — both in the premise and in the response. Really couldn’t have been scripted better.

  14. Johnycomelately

    Great post.

    It’s very rare for words to break out from the mundane but ‘Super-Norm’ in the context provided is powerfully resonating.

    Given females predilection to uniformity of being (ie low variability) and the male predisposition to hierarchies (ie large variability), could it be that the female Super-Norm is more uniform while the Male Super-Norm more partitioned.

    What I am trying to get at, is the current climate also an expression of the Alpha Male Super-Norm?

    It seems to me the Female Super-Norm runs parallel with the Alpha Male Super-Norm, as a monogamist Male Norm could not indulge in the hedonism of the Female Super-Norm.

  15. Tug-of-war over the Abyss | Sunshine Mary and the Dragon

    […] on a society-wide level, the best way to manage the competing male and female imperatives and to keep our tug-of-war over the abyss  balanced is hard monogamy.  And the only way hard […]

  16. Ivanhoseph77

    Excellent post. I thought you killed it on Dalrock’s blog the other day (“What A Masculine Imperative Would Look Like”). I think your style of writing needs a bit of criticism, however. Your exposition (like my own when expounding upon philosophical or sociological concepts) tends to be fairly abstruse. Finding a way to be more direct and succint would lessen the reader’s need to reread and take notes. Clarity in one’s perspicasiouness with the written word is an artisic skill not easily obtained without practice (insert inrony).

    I really like that you have sussed out the real nature of hard monogamy as various forms of compromise vis a vis our ideal reproductive mating strategies. I believe most human societies then solidified it as an imperative (as opposed to just normative) through religious dogma, not because of it. Our ancestors, probably through the accumulated wisdom of trial and error, realized the most socially cohesive structure was “hard” monogomy. (An outward appearance at the very least). I also like how you have articulated that it is not only a compromise between males and females but also amongst competing males. It appears to me to be the most egalitarian scenario for males to have access to reproductive/sexual success (on par with females), which would, (without bogging down this response with a bunch of facts and rhetoric to support this conclusion) lead to a much more stable society as compared to one where males have a very uncertain expectation of sexual access and reproductive success.

    In other words, why would a man invest extensive time and energy into “The Matrix/” – (getting up early, riding the train, slogging long hours at the office/work site, paying taxes, etc, etc) with very little certainty of a payoff within this female Super-Norm?? Hence a drastic rise in MEN living at home longer and longer and eschewing building and aquiring the prerequisite resources necessary for family life.

  17. Ivanhoseph77

    A quick hypothetical to illustrate male cooperation as a necessary function for increased sexual/reproductive success for the majority of men.

    Imagine you have a tribe of 5 males and 5 females. The males are preselected for a heirarchy amongst the women in terms of sexual desirability (number one Alpha through to number 5 Alpha). The women are also similarily preselected based upon boob size, hip to waist ratio, etc and other indicators of youth and fertility.

    In simplified terms, the women will all desire to mate with Alpha 1 and the men all want to sleep with all 5 women, (in descending order of 1-5), to the exclusion of the other men. Clearly serious competition that would escalate to violence, maiming, and death rather quickly. By exerting their prefrontal cortex, however, the men can quickly conclude it to be a very bad scenario as the low percentage of success is very undesirable as opposed to the guarantee of partial success with a compromise.

    In other words, the men numbers 2-5 quickly surmise that in a knock down drag out fight Alpha 1 is going to win all ths spoils therefore it behooves them to cooperate against him.

    “Hey Alpha 1, you might be able to take us all in a one on one but in a one on four you are shit out of luck.”

    Hence Alpha 1 quickly realizes its not in his interest to go for the full harem and must also cooperate.

    Thus the men decide to shake hands, each take a portion of the pie, and keep a close eye on each other for stealth attempts at violence, penetration/insemination and cuckoldry. In other words all the skirmishes and battles we see on the periphery of pair bonding.

    Meanwhile the women, while 4 out of the 5 do not get seed from the best “tingles”, at least get something as well. But their compromise is less to their liking than the men’s. Good thing us men got to enforce social norms by virtue of our physical superiority for a good long while. We can take comfort in knowing that the majority our ancestral brotherhood was “at least gettin’ some”.

    MOST interestingly though, is that most women would probably prefer the men duke it out and that all 5 get action from Alpha 1 in the end and that most men are probably fairly satisfied with a “a least I am getting some” scenario.

    (Johnnycomelately – this is where you correctly identify the overlap between the female super-norm and the uber-alpha male super-norm).

    To soldify this partial success paradigm we end up with the creation of an overarching moral imperative solidifying “hard” monogamy –

    CHURCH! RELIGION! Social norms and customs shaming certain behaviors.

    This new female super-norm that Novaseeker describes is what has supplanted this older super-norm.

    An off the top of the head ramble…

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