I live pretty close to the university I attended roughly a decade ago, and I’m very frequently on or near campus. Over the past couple of years, especially since we’ve had some nasty hot summers here in San Diego, it has become somewhat common for me to see young women walking on public sidewalks wearing skimpy bikinis, including occasionally thong swimsuit bottoms. Like, ass cheeks fully out for the world to see. When I see this, obviously my lizard brain is thoroughly captivated, but my higher-functioning brain is then immediately scandalized and appalled.
When I attended this same university, it was strange and tantalizing enough to see so many women walking around in sheer leggings and booty-shorts. This was not allowed at my high school, and I doubt that many of the girls would have availed themselves of the option even if it had been allowed. So, for me, being surrounded by women in (compared to what I was used to) revealing clothing made me feel frustrated and constantly distracted. It also, as I continued through college without having any romantic/sexual success with women during that time, began to make me feel desperate and invisible. Look at all of these hot people all around me! Am I the only person on campus who is not attractive? Does anyone even notice that I exist? Like a penniless man walking down a bustling commercial boulevard arrayed with shiny advertisements of wonderful products I couldn’t hope to purchase, I felt like having all of these unattainable women showing off their bodies to me but not giving me the time of day was infinitely worse than not having women around at all.
Still, it would have been unheard of at that time for one of those young women to walk around in public in broad daylight wearing nothing but a thong bikini. Regardless of any legal penalties or school policies regarding such an action, it would have been seen, by both women and men, as simply unacceptably slutty. I can imagine that such an act would have led dozens of captivated male passers-by to walk head-first into trees or crash their cars while rubbernecking, like when Sue-Ellen Mischke walked down an NYC sidewalk wearing a bra as a top. Now apparently this is normal behavior in 2023.
When I see one of these women, I’m struck by the thought, “The Taliban are right about women.” Now, this is not a rational and considered policy endorsement. It’s just an atavistic cri de couer of a man who does not want to have such a thing dangled in my face unexpectedly while trying to have a normal public outing. It honestly makes me a tiny bit sympathetic to the Middle Eastern and African guys who come into Europe and end up sexually assaulting local women because they misinterpreted the women’s loose and revealing manner of dress for an obvious and intentional public invitation to sexual contact. Where those men come from, no woman would dream of dressing like that, unless she were a particularly brazen prostitute. Having made it to adulthood without cultivating any coping mechanisms for dealing with the level of sexual frustration generated by being surrounded by countless beautiful unaccompanied women in revealing outfits, they lash out in a brutish act of desperate catharsis. Now obviously I do not actually condone the actions of these men, and I wish to see them punished unimaginably harshly for their depraved violations of European women; I also wish that immigration policies were such that these men were not in Europe in the first place to experience such a brutal culture shock.
Still, I can’t help but think that the Islamic world basically has the right idea in terms of their approach to strictly enforcing conservative female attire. I can quibble with the specifics - certainly a burqa is excessive, and I’m not sure that things like niqabs and hijabs are really necessary. But, of course, that’s my western culturally-liberal background talking; I’ve been born centuries after the multiple turns of the ratchet which normalized women walking about with exposed hair and legs and arms, so it seems normal to me, and with the way things are going it looks like in a few more decades the ratchet will have turned here in America such that people will be seen as wildly prudish for thinking it off to see women with their entire asses out on the sidewalk. Hell, perhaps by 2050 American women will be strutting around like the women of the early Bronze Age Minoan civilization, -titties out for the world to see, if their vases are accurate - and the prudes of that era will be asking why we can’t just go back to when women were classy and didn’t wear anything more revealing than a bikini.
Speaking of the Minoans, they are one of the few ancient civilizations for which we have any concrete persuasive evidence that a matriarchal order may have prevailed for a substantial length of time. In Neolithic European civilizations, prior to the Indo-European (Aryan) conquests, a harsh sexual order appears to have prevailed in which the vast majority of men did not reproduce, and may have simply been worked to death in salt mines or massive farm complexes while the women could spend their time advertising their beauty and sexual competitiveness to a small elite of men. I’m far from the first commentator to notice that our societies appear to be lurching in a similar direction; the woman strutting around my local sidewalk in a thong, with no fear of repercussions nor even social censure, content that any frustration or angst she generates in nearby males is highly unlikely to redound negatively toward her, strikes me as symptomatic of this development.
In such a sociosexual regime, assuming we don’t have any massive salt mines for all of our sexually-unsuccessful beta males to expire in, it seems that it may be high time to reintegrate into our society a male archetype which has decidedly fallen by the wayside over the past few centuries: that of the monk or ascetic. While rightwing Twitter (uh, sorry, “X”) embraces the total hegemony of the conquering warrior archetype, it remains the case that there are hundreds of millions of men like me who are never going to ride a chariot into battle or build a homestead from the ground up. For guys like us, maybe it’s time to look toward the monastic lifestyle as an alternative option.
I recently spent a week visiting the U.K. I spent a substantial amount of my time there visiting cathedrals and abbeys. While all of them were breathtaking, I found myself particularly captivated - haunted, really - by Tintern Abbey. Walking within the shattered exoskeleton of a once-thriving monastery is a truly unique experience. Reading more about the Cistercian brotherhood of Monks who founded and operated Tintern for centuries, much about their lifestyle sounded quite appealing to me. To live apart from the world of carnality and temptation, sequestered away with your geeky and serious-minded brothers, translating old Greek and Latin texts, tending a garden, eating simple meals and enjoying simple but meaningful pursuits while the outside world roils and burns around you… what’s not to like? I can imagine how I would fit in with the other monks; I think I’d have a solid chance of being the best singer in the Gregorian chant choir, and I bet I’d be appreciated for giving the most spirited reading of Bible passages during dinner of any of the monks there. I wouldn’t conquer any lands or hear the lamentation of my enemies’ women - ideally I wouldn’t encounter women at all - but maybe I’d end up being the primary author of some groundbreaking historical compendium that would still be useful to people a millennium in the future.
Of course, no such life is really available for western men in our age. Sure, Buddhist monks still exist, as do the Hare Krishnas and other assorted oddball ascetic cults, but they remain the sole province of foreigners, and only the oddest of western oddballs would join one of them. Far more importantly, I have already tasted the fruits of modernity. I have been with women. I know what it’s like to have an infinite universe of porn and other superstimuli at my fingertips. Giving that all up to go withdraw into the monastic life would be impossibly difficult and depriving, because I would know what I’m missing. Sure, it would be a blessed release from the sexual rat race, in which I have fallen far behind, but I would never be able to escape the nagging feeling that I could have done better for myself. The only way to make the monk life work is to identify, early in life, the boys who would be best served by that life path, and plucking them away from the temptations of the world before they’ve developed any strong taste for them. For those of us who’ve already been exposed to modernity, the genie is out of the bottle and he’s not going back in.
If the monastic option is going to make a real return in our culture, it will have to be undergirded by a genuine status infrastructure undergirding it. Such men must not be seen as losers and washouts, crawling in shame away from a life of failure and grasping tightly a pathetic consolation prize. It must be seen as a noble and important life path, every bit as valid as the warrior’s role, and genuinely rewarding in and of itself rather than simply an escape from suffering. It seems like for shape rotators, the life of the shut-in programmer, the “digital nomad”, or the mad scientist are still viable life paths that offer real status and material rewards, but for male wordcels who wish to check out of the lottery lifestyle of academia or entertainment, the pickings seem significantly slimmer. What is the modern wordcel monk to do? AI seems to be rapidly devouring what few paths had remained, leaving beta wordcels no path forward but to cope and seethe, dreaming of living a simple but failure-proof life in an abbey which now lies in ruins.