Buying the cow & other bullshit

When some conservative “defenders of marriage” types deign to notice that young men are souring on marriage, a very common reaction is “Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?” The social acceptance of premarital sex, casual sex, and cohabitation, as well as the availability of effective birth control, has certainly contributed to many people delaying marriage.  But the savvy ladies and gentleman who frequent A Voice for Men know it’s much more complicated than that. The “buying the cow” reaction is a yet another strong piece of evidence that conservative “defenders of marriage” aren’t cut out for the job.

Women aren’t cows

Men who marry aren’t buying possessions. Human beings are not possessions. They are individuals capable of original thought and personal agency. Getting married does not obligate anyone to engage in sex, though one can make the case that sex should probably be part of the deal.

Some thinkers in the manosphere consider marriage to be a ritualized financial contract, wherein a woman agrees to be sexually available to a man in return for protection and provision. I somewhat see where they are coming from. But isn’t it odd for the conservative “defenders of marriage” to say essentially the same thing about marriage? I suspect they are completely clueless as to what they are actually saying when they refer to “buying the cow.” More on that later.

The vast majority of men do not get married for sex

They get married with the hopes of forming a lasting intimate bond with a woman, and perhaps having a family with her. Is sex a motivation? Sure, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Is sex the only motivation? Hell no, and assuming that it is insults both men and women.

Sex is not readily available to all single men

Many people seem to think the life of a bachelor involves easy sexual access with multiple willing partners. This is probably an example of apex fallacy, where the most noteworthy members of a particular group are thought to be representative of the whole group. In reality, sex is not abundant for the average heterosexual bachelor, unless he visits sex workers.

Though it is not empirically proven, I believe the “80/20 rule” has some truth to it. The 80/20 rule posits that 80% of women hunting for a mate are only interested in the top 20% of men. Men who are in that top group have a lot of options. The average man does not. Average men have the choice of improving their market value, settling for less, dropping out of the mating market, or visiting sex workers. Hardly the bonanza of female affection that many seem to think goes down.

On top of that, quite a few men aren’t even into casual sex. Shocking, I know! So the availability of hookups isn’t a compelling reason to stay single.

“Buying the cow” reveals conservative cluelessness of the reality on the ground

As noted above, “buying the cow” portrays marriage as a ritualized exchange of sex for resources. Is it surprising that conservative “defenders of marriage” are so unconscious, they regurgitate this phrase without even thinking about its meaning? No. Not at all. For decades marriage has been rapidly disintegrating as a social institution while this crowd acted holier-than-thou and obsessed over gay marriage. The “defenders of marriage” have failed.

Men aren’t refusing to “buy cows.” We’re refusing marriage for good reason. Will conservative “defenders of marriage” ever get it? Highly doubtful. Marriage will continue to decline, and unfortunately this will increase a whole bunch of social ills. It’s only going to get worse, thou “defenders of marriage.” Thanks for nothing.

Note: Not all conservative “defenders of marriage” are like that. NACDOMALT!

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