Romantic gynocentrism and the reviling wife: Reflections on last week’s conversation with David Edgington

By Paul Elam

Greetings, and welcome back to the 425 podcast, where the only place we kneel is before the cross. If you recall, last week I interviewed Dr. David Edgington about his book, The Abusive Wife. It was a fantastic discussion of which I was honored to be a part. That said, I’d like to do a bit of dissection on our interview, as it is germane to what I believe is the most important discussion among Christian men since the Reformation, and likely before that as well.

While there was much that David and I agreed on, there were a few points of contention that I want to focus on in this talk, but before I do I want to make clear that I hold the good pastor in high regard. I fully expect to meet him in heaven some day. Whatever differences we have, they do not diminish my respect for what he’s done, and the significance of his voice in this badly needed discussion.

In writing The Abusive Wife, David challenged the modern narrative about men and women, and in doing so he didn’t hold back criticism of the modern church and the egregious bias against men so common to modern clergy. He spoke truth to power, challenging the church to cast aside its blind, often hostile prejudice against men, and its utter refusal to acknowledge and confront evil behavior in women. In doing this, he clearly emulated Christ, challenging religious authorities to recognize and turn away from their hypocrisy and to instead honor God’s word as it is written.

With that in mind, I offer this talk to David as a loving invitation to explore this important subject with me more in the future, and an opportunity to challenge any faulty conclusions I might make in this review of our discussion. I write this now, keenly aware that he is not here to immediately rebut anything I’m saying. I leave that door wide open for him to do so, at any time of his choosing.

A short synopsis of our talk confirms that we both see the manifestation of the problem with the church in the same light. We both see the church making men accountable for their own sin, and assigning them blame for the sin of their wives. That is, when the church even recognizes the sin of the wife. Often, usually, it doesn’t. And has no need to since the man will held at fault either way. The church seems to recognize that a married man and wife are one flesh, but somehow forgets that they are still two souls, responsible as individuals to God for their sins.

We both recognize the problem of reviling wives who spread threat narratives and other false accusations about the husband; acts of relational aggression so common to modern women. We also both recognize the reviling wives who seek to turn children away from their earthly fathers, alienating them at the children’s emotional expense as a way to wage war within the marriage. It’s a problem that escalates during the divorce, which the church often encourages women to file in defiance of God’s word. And finally, we both recognize the deeply entrenched, seemingly intractable resistance to addressing any of these problems, both in the church and the rest of society at large.

Where we begin to differ on all of this is on the problem’s etiology. David attributes the blindly destructive tolerance of women’s sin to feminism’s influence in the pulpit and pews. And to be sure, there is plenty of evidence backing that idea. Feminism is a widely practiced ideology, even by those who claim not to be feminists, and it permeates nearly every aspect of modern human existence, especially in the west. It casts women as an oppressed class, perpetual victims of an imagined form of overbearing patriarchy that doesn’t exist and actually never did. But that particular die has nonetheless been cast. Women have warmed up en masse to the victim role. Indeed they’ve wallowed in it, and men have lined up across the western world to validate their ideas and promise to make things better.

So, the summarized view of David here, as I understand it, is that people have been corrupted by feminist ideology that requires them to view women, not as default sinners, but as default, innocent victims with little to no personal agency. This bad script kicks in full force whenever there is marital conflict when the man, who is by the same corrupted script, presumed sinful and blameworthy. Now, right-minded people, in particular Christians, abhor mistreatment and seek to right wrongs- to fight sin. Christians of both sexes see the protection of women as a Godly mandate. This setup provides a perfect breeding ground for viciously misemployed chivalry. Woman in peril? Not in my church! Come, brothers, gather your torches and pitchforks!

Ostensibly, it all makes perfect sense, even though it often results in horrendous injustice and the complete destruction of families. Feminism, as a destructive force on the family, is just doing to Church families exactly what it’s done to everyone else’s family for the past 60 years. And to the Occam’s Razor guy in me, that explanation checks a lot of boxes.

But, I respectfully submit that there’s more to this picture. During our discussion, David brought up the Song of Songs, suggesting that this, which he referred to in rather passionate romantic terms, serves as both the model of love expressed in our relationship with our wives, and with our lord. Here’s that bit from the interview.

Let’s stop there for a moment and take a deeper look at this. I think part of the problem here is in the definition of the terms. David referred to the Song of Songs, or the Song of Solomon, as descriptive of romantic love. But here’s part of the problem. Romance, as it is known and practiced today, has nothing to do with anything scriptural or spiritual. Zero, zip, nada. If you do a word search for any biblical reference to “romance,” you’ll do so in vain. That word, nor its equivalent, ever appears anywhere in scripture.

And while the Song of Songs sounds romantic, indeed it appears to gush romance in parts, it more accurately resembles Eros, the timeless motive of human sexual longing which, at its more pathological extreme, results in infatuated obsession. In philosophical sense, particularly in the works of Plato, “Eros” is used to describe the passionate, often irrational desire that drives human behavior, especially in the context of sexually infatuated attraction and longing. That reality no doubt played a significant role in the ancient controversy among Jewish and Christian bible scholars about its inclusion in the Septuagint. And while the Song of Songs is firmly established as part of the biblical canon in both Jewish and Christian traditions, there continues to be discussion and debate about its interpretation and the reasons for its inclusion.

I will revisit that in just a bit, but right now the important point to make is that romance isn’t just an emotional or sexual state, or a combination of the two. It’s not just two lovers enraptured with each other. Nor is it the intimacy produced by two becoming one flesh. Nor is it anything, I assert, that springs forth naturally from the obedient Christian heart. It is certainly, and without question, not something prescribed by scripture. There is no biblical instruction for marriages to be based in romance, especially as at the time of its authorship, the idea of a marriage being based on romance, or even Eros, would have been considered insane and incredibly irregular. Most marriages were arranged by the families of the bride and groom. Parents and other family members played a significant role in choosing a suitable partner, focusing on factors such as social status, economic benefits, and family alliances. There is no evidence that being hot is part of the equation. Solomon didn’t marry 700 wives and have 300 concubines for Romantic reasons. He did it for political expedience and to expand his sphere of influence. As for the average person, there is no historical evidence whatsoever that a romantically based marriage was even thinkable.

Romance, which for some reason many people are convinced has always been the standard for marriage, has nothing to do with the kind of love that can only be gained from extensive shared life experience. Romance is actually just the codification of infatuation and sexual passion into an ethos that serves women, and only women, at the expense of men. Like it or not, that also means it’s at the expense of the family. That’s hardly a way to promote the order and structure for marriage as is clearly prescribed in the Word of God.

Romance requires men to defend women’s honor, even when they don’t have any. Romance requires men to lower themselves to appease women, and to submit to their desires, even when they’re behaving like tyrants. Romance is the poorest metaphor I can think of for a relationship with God.

Allow me, if you will, to bore you with some history. The word “Romance” itself, in its various forms, began to appear in the vernacular languages of Europe around the 12th century, some 2,000 years after the Song of Songs was written. It initially referred to stories and poems, which often involved tales of gallantry, adventure, and courtly, or what we now call romantic, love.

As I have alluded to in other talks, romantic love owes its roots to medieval Europe and was loosely fashioned after the military code of chivalry that had feudal tenants and vassals kneeling before and pledging fealty to a royal lord. I say loosely because in the old feudal system, there were considerations given for pledging blood and sword to royalty. Even Kings owed something in return for the loyalty given them. The new, romantic narrative of love fully pedestalized women, placing them above man in worth and standing, and was peddled to the masses by the powerful and influential courts of Europe. Like feminism, it regarded women as untouchable and created a one-way power dynamic that we see acted out across the western world to this day. This irrational, romantic model of love eventually commandeered our collective consciousness, giving birth to a system in which women weren’t just to be courted, they were to be wined and dined, pampered, indulged, fawned over and deferred to at every turn because doing otherwise is considered both unloving and unmanly. If you visit an average church, you might just hear it called unchristian.

Now, even though this model for love was eventually embraced by the western world, it’s only been in the past 150 years that people began to marry based on it. In the scheme of things, it’s a very new, experimental way to approach marriage. And by the looks of things, the experiment is not working out that well. Once social and legal pressures were taken off of romantic marriages to stay intact, those marriages began to dissolve like sugar in hot water. To quote Denis de Rougemont’s 1939 classic on romantic love:

“Romance feeds on obstacles, short excitations, and partings; marriage, on the contrary, is made up of wont, daily propinquity, and growing accustomed to one another. Romance calls for ‘the faraway love’ of the troubadours; while marriage calls for love of ‘one’s neighbor’. Where, then, a couple have married in obedience to a romance, it is natural that the first time a conflict of temperament or of taste becomes manifest, the parties should each ask themselves: “Why did I marry?’ And it is no less natural that, obsessed by the universal propaganda in favor of romance, each should seize the first occasion to fall in love with somebody else. And thereupon it is perfectly logical to decide to divorce, so as to obtain from the new love, which demands a fresh marriage, a new promise of happiness—three words, ‘marriage’, ‘love’, ‘happiness’, being synonyms. Thus, remedying boredom with a passing fever, ‘he for the second time, she for the fourth’, American men and women go in quest of ‘adjustment’. They do not seek it, however, in the old situation, the one guaranteed—‘for better, for worse’—by a vow. They seek it, on the contrary, in a fresh ‘experience’ regarded as such, and affected from the start by the same potentialities of failure as those which preceded it.”  [Love in The Western World]

To recap; in the Song of Solomon we read of a reciprocal desire, a love that flows equally between the lovers, which by its nature differs from the uneven display of romantic gynocentrism. As described by C.S. Lewis, romantic love positions the male lover as abject before a woman who actively adopts the role of his pedestalized superior:

“Obedience to his lady’s lightest wish, however whimsical, and silent acquiescence in her rebukes, however unjust, are the only virtues he dares to claim. Here is a service of love closely modeled on the service which a feudal vassal owes to his lord. The lover is the lady’s ‘man’. He addresses her as ‘midons,’ which etymologically represents not ‘my lady’ but ‘my lord’.”   [The Allegory of Love]

Unlike the mutual display of love in Songs, Lewis describes the attitude of romantic love as ‘a feudalisation of love,’ one which necessitates a man lower himself on proverbial and literal bent knees in permanent obedience to an elevated women. Suffice to say it’s an error to attribute romantic love, at least as described by Lewis and other authorities, to the love portrayed in Song of Songs – or indeed to love as described anywhere in the Bible. The conflation of these different kinds of love can only result in a chimera – a creature cobbled together from parts of different animals to create a monstrous hybrid. I would encourage David and others to dig deep into these points of contention and, as always, I welcome discussion, feedback, or dissent in the comments below.

Despite this glaring inequity in power, the romantic ethos, valuing women over men, contorting and exploiting the human instinct to protect and provide for women, continues. And it continues to be conflated with the kind of love that should guide a marriage. That gives us precisely what David and I discussed in our interview about his book. The men in church whose default setting is to persecute any man with a woman’s finger pointed at him aren’t Christians acting to combat sin and bring their fellows into alignment with God’s will. They are medieval knights in shining armor, defending the innocent and fair maiden from harm. It’s a kind of twisted harem seeking by thirsty boys longing for women’s admiration and approval. That has nothing to do with feminism, and everything to do with romantic gynocentrism.

Finally, David and I touched on the topic of marriage itself, and more specifically the men who look at the modern marital landscape and decided to opt out. I pointed out Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, where he advised single men and widows to remain unmarried.

Here’s a clip of that interaction:

OK, let’s dig into this a little bit, as well. If I am reading David correctly here, he’s insinuating, or at least speculating that 1st Corinthians 7 could possibly be the result of Paul’s personal experience with marriage; that perhaps in Paul’s life previous to becoming a Christian he was married to a reviling wife, or that there was some other marital experience that led him to reject marriage and suggest that rejection all unmarried and widowed men.

But here’s the problem with that. It totally discounts the fact that Paul’s words are in fact not Paul’s words. They are the words of our Lord and Savior, expressed through Paul’s divinely inspired writing. Asserting otherwise reduces everything he said to some kind of divorce bitterness, or perhaps a history of being abused by a wife. I’m sorry, but if we accept that explanation it requires us to deny and reject God’s word, and it would call into question every line of scripture from the holy bible.

From 2 Timothy 3:16-17

“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” (NASB)

I understand the difficulty in coming to terms with this. The Apostle Paul, by every indication, would clearly be called red pill, and indeed MGTOW in modern times. A dedicated bachelor with no interest whatsoever in the distraction of marrying a woman. As he said in 1 Corinthians 7:32-34,

“I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs—how he can please the Lord. But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife— and his interests are divided.”

Dear listener, that is either the wisdom of the Lord speaking to you through His chosen apostle, or it’s just the resentful musings of a man soured on marriage due to his personal experience. It can’t be both. And we don’t get to choose which version we like based on the argument we’re making at the time.

Now, moving on, I return to the beginning of this conversation, of a church that has lost its way, ignoring God’s word in order to side with women, who are now perceived universally as the victims of men. It might be easy to conclude that we’re discussing two different topics, one being what marriage ought to be based upon, and the other whether men should engage in marriage to begin with. I think the two are actually intimately and inextricably bound together.

First, and this is something neither David nor I addressed in our discussion, the church abdicated its responsibility for marriage quite some time ago. Any moral authority the church had over the marriage covenant died in 1639, when the first license for marriage was issued by the state of Massachusetts and honored by the church. The church has been compliant ever since, injecting the state into the covenant meant to be strictly between a man, a woman and God. By its complicity, the church removed God from authority over marriage and replaced Him with the state. It’s worth mentioning that here, but rather than sidetracking any further now, I will be addressing it in a podcast at some point in the future.

For now, if we are going to address the problem of the reviling wife, we cannot do so in any earnestness without acknowledging the bad script that got us here. All of it.

We are now living with congregations full of entitled, demanding women who are better described as Disney style princesses than adult women ready to take on the awesome responsibilities of a husband and children. Few to none would qualify as a Proverbs 31 wife. Sure, feminism has acted like an accelerant, but only on a fire that was already long burning. To assume that feminism is the singular underlying evil demonstrates the myopic vision that a romanticized view of women engenders and demands.

The phenomenon of romantic gynocentrism has rendered the average women unfit for matrimony. It matters not if she’s a pink-haired termagant in an Antifa T-shirt, or if she’s a churchgoing, demure and soft spoken schoolmarm longing for the days when men were men. Both women pine for the power and authority over men that romantic gynocentrism affords them. These are two kinds of women who typically don’t like each other, but it’s not because they’re different. Under the difference in dress and social manner, they are one in the same. They are just fighting over who will benefit from the mandated chivalry of men.

These two kinds of women, regardless of their apparent differences, are on the same team when accusations have been levied against a man. They both rally men to inflict their will on the victim.

The deleterious effect isn’t limited to women. The effect of romantic mandates, as so aptly described by Lewis and De Rougemont, has transformed men into weak-willed sycophants, thinly disguised houseboys who settle for building a façade of leadership and male strength, asserting their Godly authority as long as their alleged better half isn’t listening. And to their disgrace, they can be reliably counted upon to add muscle to the witch hunts that the women instigate. They are the chief enablers of the reviling wife.

Of course, accepting all this puts one at a heck of a crossroads. What do you imagine would happen to a church, should it echo the sentiments of Lewis and De Rougemont and challenge Christians to abandon their pursuit of such a distorted and unchristian version of love? What would happen to any church that urged women off of their pedestals and into the real world? …………….. That’s right. Total collapse. Women would leave Sunday service fast enough to go get breakfast. And the men, true to the romantic ethos, would just be a half-step behind them.

And that, my brothers, is where we are at. Romantic gynocentrism has a stranglehold on the western church because it has a stranglehold on the western world. And until men are willing to seek God’s approval more than women’s, it will remain as such.

As for the Song of Songs; its intended message and the reason for its inclusion in the Septuagint, I am sure speculation and debate will continue about that long past my lifetime. For now, in the big picture view, I still see a man of purported great wisdom, who like his father before him, fell from grace because of his relationship with women. I see that book as much more warning than prescription.

Let’s turn for a moment to Proverbs 20:5, which states: “The purpose in a man’s heart is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out.”

Let’s consider that “The purpose in a man’s heart,” refers to the inner world of a man. His yearnings, goals, intentions, ambitions, and dreams. Now, it says, “is like deep water,” meaning that it is hidden from plain view, from others, and often from the man himself. The totality of his purpose and the core of his beliefs are concealed in the deep, often inaccessible well of a man’s heart.

And now, this critical ending declaration, “But a man of understanding will draw it out.” A man of wisdom, a man with insight, a man who has the ability to search for and find that which is hidden, even his own thoughts and intentions. This is a man with the requisite skill and integrity to plumb the depths of his inner most being and bring light to the truth. And this, I argue, is what is missing from the discussion about romantic gynocentrism. It is a superficial thing, unsuited to examination or testing. Its dictates cannot and will not bear scrutiny. And it sits out of reach, wreaking havoc as almost all men live in willful ignorance of its existence. The first rule of romantic gynocentrism is that you don’t talk about romantic gynocentrism. It’s an unhelpful way to begin a discussion.

And that brings me to the really important part of this dialogue. During my talk with David I asked him what we should do about the problems we both agreed we were plaguing the church and plaguing the relationship between men and women. What do we tell young men about all this? How do we actually start to fix the problem? David is working on a sequel to The Abusive Wife where he intends to expound upon answers to that very question. I look forward to that when the time comes.

Meanwhile, I’d like to offer my pitch for where we start to set things right, beginning with the namesake of this podcast, Ephesians 4:25. We first must quit lying to young men. We need to stop indoctrinating them into a Hollywood fantasy that turns out to be a rigged game against them. Having challenged and overcome our own misguided thinking, we can make sure they at least see a more sane, scripturally sound way to view love. We need to counsel them about what the bible actually tells us about the sexes, the folly of pedestalizing women, and the nonbiblical nature of romantic gynocentrism. We should advise every young man in every church in the west that if he is ever accused of any kind of wrong doing by a woman, that his church family, more likely than not, will turn on him like a quiet, smiling lynch mob. He’ll be thrown directly under the bus with assurances he’ll be prayed for. Tell every young man that if he ends up in a divorce, he will get crushed by a court system designed to ruin him. And finally, importantly, that the Lord has explicitly provided a path away from all of this insanity in 1st Corinthians 7.

There’s no other way to say it, gentlemen. If we want to look past the problem of the reviling wife and start addressing why the church enables all her drama and abuse, we need to quit living in the fairy tale of romantic gynocentrism, return to scripture and rediscover our willingness to speak the truth.

If you know young Christian men, please send them the discussion David and I had, as well as this podcast. Send it to clergy as well, to elders and deacons, but don’t expect much. Most of them would rather eat glass than upset midon.

All of this makes me so very thankful for you, my brothers in Christ. We’re among a small number of people who can draw it out; whose hearts yearn for the light. And I truly believe we are the hope for the Christian church. It may take a hundred years, but it’s on all of us to get the ball rolling.

Till then, I wish you all the best. Praise the name of Jesus Christ.

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You can listen to the video version of this article here.

Videos discussing the topic of gynocentrism

The new ‘gynocentric’ man is no better than the old (Newspaper article – 1993)

Over recent centuries women have encouraged men to develop a more gynocentric focus, then apparently have gone on to despise them for it — according to a 1993 article published in the Canberra Times:

Kipling’s Modern Chivalry: Masculinity and War in The Light That Failed

The following abstract and sample is from an essay by Dennis Gouws, differentiating gynocentric chivalry from inter-male expression of chivalry. The full essay is published in the book War, Espionage, and Masculinity in British Fiction edited by Susan L. Austin (2023).

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Chapter 2

Kipling’s Modern Chivalry: Masculinity and War in The Light That Failed

Dennis S. Gouws
Springfield College


This chapter begins with a discussion of how the concept of chivalry evolved, expanding beyond the nobility, and shaping standards of behavior for commoners who wished to establish themselves as English gentlemen. It then argues that chivalrous attitudes toward women and self-sacrifice prove futile and destructive for the male characters, while the chivalrous emphasis on brotherhood encourages positive bonds between them.

Keywords: Chivalry, English Gentleman, Manhood, Masculine Identity, Masculine Friendship, Rudyard Kipling

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Excerpt:  In The Light that Failed, Kipling questions the usefulness of nineteenth-century chivalry for guiding fin-de-siecle love and war and seems surprisingly modern in doing that. Examined from a twenty-first-century perspective, the usual chivalric love association described by Keen is too often a misandrist (male-hating) imperative, requiring men to internalize a toxic idea of themselves as a condition for finding love. Peter Wright astutely observes this kind of chivalry is “both sexist and gynocentric in nature, one that demands men provide numerous psychological gratifications and material benefits to recipient women;” he concludes, “The chivalric role offers heterosexual men a life-map to guide their social behaviour while providing a sense of self based on service to women” (56). Traditional chivalry has declined to gynocentric (woman-centered) service; consequently, it has little to offer twenty-first-century males. Kipling’s male contemporaries still willingly protected the weak; however, as the reader of The Light that Fails discovers, conventional chivalric courtship does not win the day in the author’s “originally conceived” (vii) fifteen-chapter version of the work (the different endings of the twelve-chapter Lippincott’s version and the longer MacMillan’s version will be discussed below). It is dramatized as humiliating rather than satisfying for the parties involved.


Most of this essay can be read on Google Books or the longer volume can be purchased at Amazon.

Family in Asia, versus family in the West

By Shu Yi

Family structure

Firstly a little bit of background: I’m in my mid-30s, I’m from China, and I also went to the west (Australia, New Zealand, US) to study in my late teens, and after that, came to Japan and have been living here ever since.

When I was a child every family I could see consisted, at minimum, of the children, parents, and the grandparents – i.e., the mother and father of either parent. (traditionally it was the father’s parents, but in practice it varies among households).

This is only the core family. Yes, that’s right, this does not include the usual ‘extended family’.  It’s also common to have uncles and aunts who are still unmarried living together with the family, which in my house it was the case.

It was rare to see a family consisting only of the parents and children; in such cases they are often not locals of the city, but rather parents who moved there from another location in order to go to university, who then got a job and settled down there. Where are their grandparents? Still in their hometown, with other siblings still there with them, where it’s basically the same family structure as what I described in my own hometown above.

Young people who go to another city to work and settle, either bring their parents with them to the city or, after they have saved enough money, go back to live with their parents and build a new house where everybody can live. That’s right, there’s no shame in “still living with the parents” — it’s expected, and it’s the norm that parents and children are always immediate family members who live together.

The situation I have described is common in Asia.  If you know the Japanese show Miss Sazae, Little Maruko, and Crayon Shinchan, they represent three common types of Japanese household (for reference, these are the iconic and longest running household shows in Japan, that represents everyday life).

Miss Sazae (started in 1946): the family consist of Miss Sazae, her husband, her parents, her younger brother and sister, and her son.

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Little Maruko (since 1986):  the family consist of the little girl Maruko, her sister, her parents, her paternal grandparents

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Crayon Shinchan (since 1990): the family consist of a little Shinchan, his sister, and his parents. His parents are from rural areas of Japan, who settled in Greater Tokyo. They don’t live with grandparents. This represents the newer type of family structure. The mother’s older sister stays in their hometown with their parents, while the mother and the mother’s younger sister went to the city.

In fact, it is still the tradition in Japan that the eldest son or the eldest child do not ever leave the parents, this is the child that will get the inheritance, and has the responsibility to take care of the parents.

Childcare and senior care

China does not have daycare centres. The only time China had daycares was during the peak of the communist movement which aimed to abolish the family unit (so even without the communist name, I encourage you to consider the true nature of daycares).

China has kindergarten for children aged 3 and over, and the care of all younger children is done within the family. Parents go to work, while grandparents stay at home looking after the kids, doing the cooking and cleaning, and the parents take over these roles when they get home from work. I can’t help but feel like this probably was the arrangement throughout most of human history, with the young and strong parents going out to hunt/farm etc, with the children and elders staying in the home camp/house.

I touched on senior care above, and can characterise the grandparents as being an integral part of the immediate family. They usually live with one of their children. When I was little, for example, this was the case – and my grandmother even had her mother come and stay with us when necessary (she usually lived with her son, but her son was out of town for a few days).


Semi-arranged marriage is very common, if not the majority. In China, young people are free to meet people on their own at university, work, etc, but as you can imagine, the success rate is not very high (I imagine the success rate is not that high for any culture by doing it this way). So a lot of people will have their parents arrange the marriage for them. The parents will try to find a suitable spouse through their friends, relatives (such as the relative’s friends/coworkers etc), and extended network — which means they know the potential spouse’s background, career, education, siblings, parents’ career etc, and the potential spouse also knows theirs.

If the young people find a girlfriend/boyfriend on their own, after dating for a while, they usually have to go through the same process of background checks, two sets of families meeting to discuss their future, including getting down to the finances, housing, etc.  Therefore marriage is still very much between the two families, not just the two young people. Sometimes the parents will agree with them going forward and getting married, sometimes they don’t agree. By law, young people can still marry freely, but not many of them will want to go against their parents’ opinion because their own family is their ingroup, one that shares common interests with them, and provides valuable support.

It is unlikely for young people to value romantic love misadventures above family, as you could end up with no support (but ironically that level of ‘no support’ sort of just looks like the Western norm).  On the other hand, you could argue this entire process is extremely unromantic, and I agree. It’s definitely not a “love at first sight, fall in love, throw away the world for you” kind of relationship. In Japan it’s more or less the same as in China; young people will try to find a spouse on their own from work, university, etc, they will also go to match making events (very popular), and their parents will also look for them.

Who is the center of the family?

With this family structure, you absolutely cannot have the couple as the center and above all other family members and considerations. If you do that, the family will not work. It will crumble. When children are young, they are definitely in the center. When grandparents are old and sick, they are definitely the center. Things will be planned revolving around them, and sacrifices will be made for them; family caters to the most important needs of its members. The truth is, within a ‘big family’ (Westerners say big, I say normal sized), nobody discusses ‘the couple’ nor are they aware of it;  everything is just intertwined. There’s no “date night” for couples; if you are going out to eat, everybody goes. If you go traveling, everybody goes. If you say ‘the couple is the center and most important’ in a big family, frankly, that is offensive to other family members. The family unit absolutely cannot be reduced further anymore.

So in that sense ‘the couple’ just doesn’t exist. Also, it is not the couple’s house, it’s everybody’s house. You absolutely cannot say ‘this is my house so you have to obey my rules’ (which I hear so often in the West), if you say that, it’s greatly offensive as it’s an implication of cutting family ties. Also, you are not validly in a position to say that, because most likely everybody pitched in financing for that house, and also contribute to make family life functional.

Family network

When the core family is as big as it is, and you have a lot more in the extended family, a lot of things are done within the family. If a distant family member graduated and is looking for a job, he will get one through family network. If you are feeling unwell, you can get a distant family member who’s a doctor to look at you. If you are looking at starting a business, make phone calls to see what distant family members are doing. You don’t know what major to choose in college? – then see if some family members already work in a certain area.

Westernization/communism dismantling

Despite preservation of strong family traditions in Asia, communism keeps trying to dismantle the family because if you make people more alone and isolated, they are easier to control. Family is the most innate and powerful thing for humans, as it counteracts forces that attempt to isolate and exploit them.

In China, there were movements and policies attempting to dismantle the family: their ideal is to have men, women, and children all living in a state of separation. Under this dystopian vision children are raised collectively by the state (so basically orphanages), and no such thing as family will exist. China tried that. And they are still trying it. Before, they tried that in the cities, now, they are pushing it in the rural areas.

It is illegal in China to move and reside freely without a residency permit. So when people from rural areas go to work in the cities, they can’t take their children with them.  The family unit in China keeps facing crack downs by the government, and those who are aligned with communist values no longer believe in family relations, or family.  Moreover, Westernization is having an effect (btw communism is also westernization as it literally came from the West). Some young people begin to like the more romantic ideas from the West, and they think the Asian traditional family is too “practical.”  Some opinion leaders in Asia are pushing for a smaller nuclear family, and not living with parents, etc, saying this Western way is more advanced, and that the traditional Asian way is too old and outdated. Guess what? It’s not outdated.

To put this into perspective, what I’ve described here is not an  ‘Asian vs. Western’ thing;  it is instead ‘traditional vs. new’ – with the ‘new’ coming in the forms of communism, or romantic coupling respectively, both of which take a wrecking ball to traditional family.  The traditional family I described is universally human, and still remains in many parts of the world. It’s just the West was modernized very early and has lost a lot more.

Historical Observations Of Gynocentrism In America

Historical Observations Of Gynocentrism In America

– Japanese visitor amazed by American gynocentrism (1872)
– ‘Female Aristocracy’ Long Observed In The Anglosphere (1896 – 1929)
– USA, Champion of Extreme Gynocentrism (1846 – 1929)
– American Woman and Her Dutiful Husband — (Max O’Rell, 1903)
– New Feminine Aristocracy in The USA (The Independent, 1909)
– The New American Sex Aristocracy – by Constance Eaton (1929)
– ‘The Henpecked Male’ by Hendrick de Leeuw (1957)
– American Man – The Most Manipulated Male on Earth (Esther Vilar, 1971)

Which features do storge and agape have in common?

What are the overlapping features of storge love, and agape love?

Bing AI:
Storge and Agape are two of the four types of love described in the Greek language, and they do have some overlapping features:

  • Unconditional Nature: Both Storge and Agape love share an unconditional nature. They are not based on merit or worthiness but are given freely and without expectation of anything in return
  • Selflessness: Both types of love involve a degree of selflessness. In Storge love, this is often seen in the care and sacrifice people make for their loved ones and family. In Agape love, this is seen in the sacrificial love that seeks the best for others, even at great personal cost.
  • Enduring: Both Storge and Agape love are enduring and long-lasting. They persist through difficulties and challenges.

However, there are also distinct differences between these two types of love. Storge love is specifically focused on familial bonds and is often expressed among close family members, rooted in kinship bonds and shared experiences. On the other hand, Agape love extends to humanity as a whole and represents unconditional, selfless, and sacrificial love, which God demonstrates toward humanityWhen we follow Christ, God calls us to emulate and express this love in our relationships with others.

Please note that these definitions are based on the Greek concepts of love and may not align exactly with everyone’s personal understanding or experience of love. Always consult with a professional for personalized advice. They can provide guidance based on your specific needs and circumstances.

Gab AI: 
Storge love and agape love share some overlapping features, as both involve a deep sense of affection and care for others. Storge love typically refers to the natural affection that exists between family members, while agape love is a selfless, unconditional love that extends beyond familial bonds. Both types of love can involve feelings of warmth, generosity, and a desire to support and protect the people we care about. However, agape love is often considered more profound and selfless, as it is not based on personal gain or attachment but rather on a genuine desire for the well-being of others.

Chat GPT:
Storge love and agape love are both forms of love that can be experienced among adults and children, though they have distinct characteristics.

  1. Unconditional Nature: Both storge and agape love are often characterized by their unconditional nature. In storge love, there is a deep familial affection that is often unconditional, while agape love, often associated with altruism, is also unconditional and selfless.
  2. Commitment: Both forms of love typically involve a strong sense of commitment. In storge love, this commitment is often inherent in familial relationships, while in agape love, it manifests as a commitment to the well-being and happiness of others without expecting anything in return.
  3. Generosity and Selflessness: Both storge and agape love involve elements of generosity and selflessness. Storge love is often expressed through acts of care and support within families, while agape love extends beyond familial boundaries to encompass a broader concern for the welfare of others.
  4. Long-term Orientation: Both forms of love are often characterized by a long-term orientation. Storge love involves enduring bonds within families that persist over time, while agape love is often expressed through sustained acts of kindness and compassion towards others.
  5. Emotional Connection: While storge love is often associated with familial bonds and agape love with a broader sense of compassion, both involve an emotional connection. In storge love, this connection is rooted in familial ties, while in agape love, it is characterized by empathy and a desire to alleviate the suffering of others.

While storge and agape love share these overlapping features, they also have distinct characteristics that differentiate them. Storge love is primarily focused on familial relationships, while agape love extends beyond family to encompass a broader sense of compassion and altruism towards all humanity.

Four Dimensions Of Cultural Gynocentrism

*The following excerpt is from Gynocentrism As A Narcissistic Pathology – Part 2New Male Studies 12, no. 1 (2023).


Based on observations above, the following model is proposed for the origins and ongoing maintenance of cultural gynocentrism. The model is comprised of four interlocking factors; 1. A rise of unique gendered customs occurs within aristocratic circles of France and Germany and is subsequently diffused throughout Europe and onto much of the new world, 2. Female pedestalisation is promoted as an integral feature of the gendered customs, 3. An accompanying set of cognitive biases are generated to compliment the gendered customs, and 4. the codification of these gendered principles occurred, and continues to occur, in social institutions, policies, and in law.

1. A revolution in gendered customs

Cultural gynocentrism germinated in medieval Europe during a period of increased cross-cultural influences. During the twelfth century, French society experienced the increasing popularity of the Marian cult and its influence on women’s status, the arrival of Arabic poetry celebrating and venerating women, aristocratic courting trends emphasising women’s esteem, dignity and worth, and more importantly the imperial promotion of gynocentrism by Eleanor of Aquitaine and her daughter Marie De Champagne who, via the arts, crafted the traditional notion of chivalry into one more focused on serving aristocratic ladies—a practice referred to today as courtly and romantic love. The aristocratic classes who crafted the gynocentric themes and customs did not exist in a vacuum; the courtly love themes they celebrated would certainly have captured the imaginations of the lower classes through public displays of pomp and pageantry, troubadours and tournaments, minstrels and playwrights, the telling of romantic stories, and of course the gossip flowing everywhere which would have exerted a powerful effect on the peasant imagination. (Wright, 2014).

The gynocentric expectations of the sexual relations contract, as encoded in courtly love fiction, made their way by degrees from the aristocratic classes down to the middle classes, and finally to the lower classes – or rather they broke class structure altogether in the sense that all Western peoples became inheritors of the sexual relations contract regardless of their social station. (Wright, 2017). This evolution was hastened by the medium of stories which illustrated its principles: medieval romances of Tristan and Isolde, Lancelot and Guinevere; the weaving and telling of European fairy tales; Shakespeare; Victorian women’s novels; up to and including modern Disney Princess movies and the ubiquitous romance novel which continues to out-gross all other genres of literature today. Today the romantic novel remains the biggest grossing genre of literature worldwide, with its themes saturating popular culture and its gendered assumptions informing politics and legislation globally. (Wright, 2017)

C.S. Lewis characterised the above development as a ‘feudalisation of love,’ because noblewomen had adopted the feudal contract between Lord and vassal and repurposed it as a model to govern sexual relations—a model that would intentionally cast noblewomen in the role of Lord (French midons), and her man as vassal which continues to be symbolised in the iconic display of a man going down on one knee to propose marriage. Lewis states that in comparison to the gender revolution launched by the feudalisation of love, the Renaissance amounts to a mere ripple on the surface of literature (Lewis, 2013). The resultant sexual relations contract forms the internal rationale of post-industrial societies, including the subsequent waves of feminist ideology which embraced this idea with greater fervour, applying the gendered principles ever more aggressively with each iteration of the movement.

2. Encouragement of female narcissism

The proverbial ‘pedestalisation’ of women fostered by romantic tropes is one that encourages narcissistic self-identification in women (Wright, 2020). An unbroken line featuring noblewomen and the men who love them appears in each iteration of literature; from the medieval romances, through to modern Disney princesses. As a dominant source of role modelling, studies have surveyed the impact of such imagery on women’s identity formation and their choices of romantic partners, finding for example that “women are influenced, whether consciously or unconsciously, by what they saw in Disney princess films while choosing mates, setting standards and establishing expectations for their lovers.” (Minor, 2014). Parents may not fully appreciate the impact of exposing daughters to aristocratic role models, nor see the harms that can arise from such an identification for later adult relationships. In their book The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in The Age of Entitlement (2009), Twenge and Campbell underline the dangers of princess role models which encourage daughters to become narcissistic:

Parents do not consciously think, “Wow, wouldn’t it be great to raise a narcissistic child?” Instead, they want to make their children happy and raise their self-esteem but often take things too far. Good intentions and parental pride have opened the door to cultural narcissism in parenting, and many parents express their love for their children in the most modern of ways: declaring their children’s greatness. A remarkable percentage of clothing for baby girls has “Princess” or “Little Princess” written on it, which is wishful thinking unless you are the long-lost heir to a throne. And if your daughter is a princess, does this mean that you are the queen or king? No—it means you are the loyal subject, and you must do what the princess says. (Twenge & Campbell, 2009)

In fairytale models the female gender role becomes the locus of a narcissistic script, as detailed by Green and colleagues (2019) who suggest an unfavourable outcome whereby, “female narcissists may assert their femininity and receive affirmation from society to attain their goals, and at the same time deflect accountability and externalise blame.” (Green, et al., 2019).

3. Activation of gamma bias

A key mechanism involved in the maintenance of gynocentrism is referred to as gamma bias, a cognitive gender bias theory developed by Seager & Barry (2019). Gamma bias refers to the operation of two concurrent biases: alpha bias (exaggerating or magnifying gender differences) and beta bias (ignoring or minimizing gender differences). Gamma bias occurs when one gender difference is minimized while simultaneously another is magnified, resulting in a doubling of cognitive distortion. (Seager & Barry, 2022)

According to Seager & Barry, gamma bias works by magnifying women’s issues and achievements and minimizing men’s issues and achievements. Alternatively, the dynamic is reversed and employed to minimize negative female traits and behaviors, while magnifying or exaggerating negative male traits or behaviors.

Figure 1. Examples of gamma bias

One hypothesis regarding the historical growth of gamma bias and the disfavouring of males is evolutionary pressures for males to protect and provide for women which involve a reluctance to view men as vulnerable (Seager & Barry, 2019). A more detailed sociological hypothesis presented in this paper posits the emergence of gamma bias in medieval Europe when feudal class distinctions were repurposed as a model for gender relations—the development which led C.S. Lewis to propose that European society had drifted from a social feudalism to a sexual feudalism. Gamma bias may arise from class distinctions and “class cognition” that were part of the original feudal template, which have carried forward as an unfortunate hangover in the gendered context. A notable result of this development is a gender empathy gap (Collins, 2021).

The operation of gamma bias can be observed in accounts of men in relationships with high narcissistic female partners. Green, et al (2019) state that female narcissists treat feminine gender ideals as a resource to justify self-enriching thought and actions, and conversely they obtain power and control by emphasising traditional male obligations to women. Based on interviews with male partners the authors provide the following conclusions:

[F]emale narcissists were perceived to attack their masculinity and inertia as a means to maintain power and control. In fact, throughout their relationships, participants reported that they experienced sustained and prolonged abuse from their narcissistic partners, including psychological, verbal, and physical violence. Although the physical violence reported was severe (at times so severe that it warranted medical attention), the majority of participants considered that the psychological abuse was more damaging, whereby a combination of experiencing violent threats, cruel reprimands intended to invalidate their reality, and coercive control all resulted in what was perceived as a cynically engineered and slow erosion of their sense of self. These accounts highlight, evidenced by the data extracts above, the significance of femininity and the violation of stereotypical gender norms in the exertion of power for female narcissism. (Green, et al., 2019)

Male participants in the study perceived their abuse by female partners as being overlooked by society because of deeply ingrained gendered scripts that assume violence perpetration is linked to masculine traits, and victimisation is associated with feminine traits. The authors conclude that gendered stereotypes and endorsement of ‘male dominance’ and ‘female submissiveness’ “appear to be reinforced and manipulated in their favour by female narcissists in their prerogative for power and exploitation.” (Green, et al., 2019). The experiences of these men illustrates the operation of gamma bias and reinforces the added distress the bias causes for men:

The reinforcement of gendered stereotypes conveyed feelings of distress and frustration on the part of the participants [men], as they felt their partners, presumed to embody these ‘feminine’ characteristics, were given the ‘benefit of the doubt’ and were able to deny that they were perpetrators. Notably, the participants’ narratives of victimisation were not only trivialised and challenged by society, but acted as a barrier to seek help as a result of stereotypical perceptions of masculinity and internalised patriarchal values. (Green, et al., 2019)

4. Institutionalisation of gynocentrism

Codification of gynocentric mores in workplace guidelines, social institutions and in legal codes is beyond the scope of this essay. However there have been numerous investigations of this topic starting with the publication of The Legal Subjection of Men (Bax, 1896), up to the more recent publication of The Empathy Gap: Male Disadvantages and the Mechanisms of Their Neglect by William Collins (2021), which looks at the gynocentric advantaging of women and disadvantaging of men across many domains including in education, healthcare, genital integrity, criminal justice, domestic abuse, working hours, taxation, pensions, paternity, homelessness, suicide, sexual offences, and access to their own children after parental separation. The codification of gynocentrism across these domains works to mutually reinforce the three elements named above; gendered customs, female narcissism and gamma bias.

Figure 2.

The four-dimensional model above provides a hypothesis on how cultural gynocentrism is maintained, along with the narcissism it helps to en-gender in an increasingly narcissistic era (Twenge, 2009).

The model is not aimed to reduce narcissism to an all-female problem or pathology, but to demonstrate the ways in which female narcissism may lean toward gynocentric modes of expression, much as males demonstrate narcissism in typically gendered ways.

The graphic (figure 2) shows elements of a self-reinforcing, positive feedback loop which works to exacerbate the effects of the original stimulus—chivalry and courtly love (feudalised love). The effects of the initial stimulus on the whole feedback system include an eventual increase in the magnitude of the originating stimulus: A produces more of B which in turn produces more of A in an ever-increasing spiral of influence. This mechanism accounts for the centuries-long evolution and the longevity of cultural gynocentrism.


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  • Collins, W. (2021). The empathy gap: Male disadvantages and the mechanisms of their neglect. eBookIt. Com.
  • Green, A., Charles, K., & MacLean, R. (2019). Perceptions of female narcissism in intimate partner violence: A thematic analysis. Qualitative methods in psychology bulletin, (28), 13-27.
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