Friday, January 11, 2013

Calling The Future: Part 1

Back in the day, the first man bashed a woman over the head with a club and dragged her into his cave.

Thus monogamy was born.     

Members of his tribe were confused, “He didn’t kick her out afterwards? What the hell is that? What…what do you call that?”

Prior to this forward-thinking(?) caveman’s assault, the tribal communal life was la raison d’etre. But after this unilateral head-thwomping action, the tribe was introduced to a set of new concepts (exclusivity, the family unit, commitment and so forth) and what was previously the norm slowly faded away into obscurity and was replaced with a new normal.

Thus, we presently encounter terms like, “in a relationship”, “boyfriend and girlfriend” and “married”. These all stem from a monogamous view of intimate relationships, which although having changed forms from violence to non-romantic social institution to courtship, has remained for millennia the default cultural pretense around the world.

Fast forward a few thousand decades into the present and witness the phenomena of Men Going Their Own Way. Many of these men, instead of desiring to get “her” into the cave, at all costs attempt to kick her out or prevent her from ever getting inside to begin with.

Yet at some point the next new normal must arise. And what form is that going to take? What form should it take? Even the most sympathetic of members from the modern tribe witness MGTOW and attempt to interpret it through the lens of the old normal, “Oh, so you’re not in a relationship? So, that means you are “fuck buddies”, right? Oh, you mostly do things other than fuck?  You are both are not interested in owning each other’s sexuality ---- what…what do you call that?”.

Regardless of what form MGTOW is currently taking on an individual basis, men are exploring alternatives to the old normal, or as it is often referred to in the context of relationships: the marriage 1.0 environment. They are searching for a new way.

This new way does not yet have a name. It is a particular kind of intimate relationship that arises when individuals realize that the rate at which they are gaining information about what is possible for them, about exploring and cultivating their own romantic and intimate preferences, is way too fucking slow to limit to one person in our very finite lifespan. With that, comes the recognition that a relationship (monogamous or otherwise) that is good for some time, is not necessarily good for all time --- and that there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

We live in a rapidly changing world. The old normal of “courtship” is facing the new reality of globalization and the internet information age. Everyone knows that these things affect businesses, we adapt to them on that front, but we are loathe to adapt our cherished traditional view of courtship in the same way. The purpose here is not to discuss “Why?”.The point is, that an individual’s ability to browse for his values on “dating sites” (still using the old normal vocabulary) “speed dating”, chat rooms, matching websites, relationship arrangement businesses, the increase in individuals who can speak the same language (namely English) around the world, feminism unshackling women’s inhibitions (thanks girls) results in the possibility to test drive a variety of different individuals from different backgrounds and cultures --- where this possibility was heavily limited even 30 years ago.

In the old normal, one was limited to the slim pickings around their current abode. Indeed, “High-school sweethearts” is yet another old normal word that rapidly has no relevance in modern western society. There used to be only a “local” dating market, except for the super-rich. But now, there is a world dating market for anyone with moderate means.

We have technology to meet our desires for choice, but our language remains mired in the swamp of the old normal. We have not brought the advances in technology into congruence with the cultural idea of what constitutes “relationship”. We carry new means to old ideas, and we find via our divorce rate and measurement of relationship satisfaction that they do not work, in the same way universities and radio, newspaper and television industries are learning the hard way that the new means are incompatible with the old ideas.

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