Saturday, December 29, 2012

More on the Track Record of That Hideous Strength

Some time back, we discussed how CS Lewis's great work 'That Hideous Strength' has been taken as perversely prescriptive rather than descriptive.

I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised really.  After all, the UK followed the prescription of 'The Abolition of Man' so as to make a nation of 'men without chests'.  And they've followed Screwtape's advice damnably well also.  Whether CS Lewis was a prophet is well beyond the scope of this blog, but the man KNEW Satan in the intimate way that nearly all great saints throughout history have.

So let's take a look at another of the themes of 'That Hideous Strength'.
Here Ransom is wrestling with Jane's rationalization hamster.

(hat tip to )
Jane said, “I always thought it was in their souls that people were equal.”
“You were mistaken,” he said gravely. “That is the last place where they are equal. Equality before the law, equality of incomes – that is very well. Equality guards life; it doesn’t make it. It is medicine, not food. You might as well try warming yourself with a blue-book.”
“But surely in marriage . . . ?”
“Worse and worse,” said the Director. “Courtship knows nothing of it; nor does fruition. What has free companionship to do with that? Those who are enjoying something, or suffering something together, are companions. Those who enjoy or suffer one another, are not. Do you not know how bashful friendship is? Friends – comrades – do not look at each other. Friendship would be ashamed…”
“I thought,” said Jane and stopped.
“I see,” said the Director. “It is not your fault. They never warned you. No one has ever told you that obedience – humility – is an erotic necessity. You are putting equality just where it ought not to be.

If we construct what CS Lewis is saying as an argument, and apply the principle of charity, we might formulate it something like this:

As a woman your marriage and in particular your erotic life will be much better, by and large and on the average, if you adopt a posture of obedience, humility, and submission with your husband.

So how much support is there for this?
Anecdotally, I've never known any women who have a Biblically complementarian relationship with their husbands to have any complaints at all as regards that part of their lives as compared to their more 'equalitarian' sisters.

But it turns out there is actual data we can appeal to on this question.

Suffice it to say, the more conservatively religious the woman, the more likely she is to regularly achieve release with her husband.  This is also not a small difference, but a rather gross one.  I'd like to see Catholics more broken down into Catholics in name only and hardcore traditionalist Catholics, and Biblical complementarians broken out of 'Conservative Protestants', but the direction is pretty clear.

If one projects further back in history, if CS Lewis' thesis is largely correct, one would expect to see women in previous eras experiencing more 'voluptuous spasms'.

Feminists maintain the Victorians lived in total ignorance, with women consigned to frigidity or frustration. In fact, physicians were publicly candid about female sexuality in the nineteenth century, including Dr. Charles Knowlton, who wrote of the female sexual organ, as is recounted in Linda Lichter’s excellent book, Simple Social Graces. In the 1970s, the historian Carl Degler uncovered a sexual survey of married women born between 1850 and 1880. Most of the middle-class women surveyed reported that they typically experienced “voluptuous spasms” while in bed with their husbands.

Every generation likes to pretend that it invented sex.  It seems pretty likely that these high Victorian women would put up better numbers than any of the groups in the 1994 study.

Glen of Instapundit fame recently suggested that the Republicans purchase women's magazines as a way of subverting the low information voter and some of the organs of culture.
I suggest that something like this would be an excellent series to run.  Use the cult of the orgasm as an armor-piercing weapon against the fell rationalization hamster.


asdf said...

That Hideous Strength was one of the best books I ever read. It helped me get through that horrible year I worked in government. Honestly I don't know if I would have made it out sane without it.

Samson said...

@asdf: I'd love to hear more about it.

asdf said...

Just its very accurate about what a bureaucracy is life. A person I had worked with at another job (to the point of going to some ball games with him and helping him move into his new apartment when he got divorced) became a high official working on Obamacare. He asked me to come work with him and promised I'd have the authority through him to make some important decisions and do stimulating work. I bit.

After getting there I found out we did nothing. Heck, worse then nothing. I also found out that the Obamacare rate review process is simply a way to extort companies into bribing regulators (usually through post public sector cushy jobs). My own boss was accepting bribes, forging documents, and lying to people who had been his friend for many years. Eventually I convinced some co worker to turn him in only to find out his boss (appointed by the governor himself) was the one that came up with the whole thing so that went nowhere except our getting threatened. I quit and some did some others.

One big hope I had was that he was behind on meeting Obamacare requirements and if he failed then another agency would take over. When we quit we figured this might happen. However, what actually happened is that he gave a huge contract to a private consultant (billing $400/hour) and in exchange that consultant recommended him for a job as the highest actuary in the agency that was suppose to take over if he failed at his job! Who watches the watchers indeed.

It's hard to know the saddest part of the whole tale. People in government really do act exactly like characters in the book. My boss acted like the Deputy Director if you've ever read it.

I was especially disappointed in light of the fact that there really were a lot more examples of things that needed to be regulated then i thought there was. I had one company that was selling hundreds of millions of dollars of scam insurance to people and I tried to stop them, but they made a phone call to my boss and it got reassigned away from me.

Government is just plain evil.