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Fun with charts, or why MGTOWers don't understand marriage trends

As we’ve seen again and again on this blog, misogynists love to talk about how much better men are than women when it comes to things like math, logic, and scientific thinking generally. Unfortunately, their posts and comments online – filled with breathtaking failures of logic, absurd unsourced assertions and magical thinking — do not seem to bear out this hypothesis.  I would compare the scientific thinking of most manosphere misogynists with that of the creationists, but frankly that would be insulting to creationists.

A case in point: a graph – provenance unknown – posted in a recent MGTOWforums discussion of marriage. The standard line amongst the lady haters is that marriage is on the way out , because men are “waking up” to the evils of marriage in an allegedly feminist state and deciding to, well, go their own way. The reality: while the marriage rate has been falling fairly steadily for the last quarter-century or so, for a variety of reasons, most people do marry at some point in their lives; it would be silly to assume that a trend over the course of several decades heralds the death of a social institution that has lasted (and has had many previous ups and downs) for millennia.

Of course, that’s not the way the MGTOWers in question see it. Their proof that marriage is doomed – doomed, I say – lies in this little graph which charts with mathematical precision the exact date range within which marriage will vanish forever from this good earth:

That's not right.

Now, there are many problems with this little graph. For one thing, what happens AFTER the projected marriage rate goes to zero? Does the marriage rate bounce like a rubber ball back into the positive realm? Or does it go below zero, with unmarried couples divorcing one another – just in case?

Second, this chart is based on a tiny number of data points – a mere 25 year sliver of the millennia-long history of divorce. If you go back a mere century and a half – see the chart below, taken from a paper you can find here — you’ll see that the marriage rate doesn’t conform to any neat mathematical formula; it jumps up and down, affected not only by slow-moving cultural changes but by events in the real world – look at the gigantic spike in marriage after World War II.

But the main issue here is that there is simply no way you can come up with a neat equation to predict the future of marriage because THE WORLD DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY. History isn’t math. It cannot be predicted in advance, and any attempt to do so — especially one based on a tiny sliver of data — is doomed to failure. (Well, certain aspects of reality can be predicted — like when Halley’s comet will next return (assuming it’s not eaten by a giant space monster we haven’t discovered yet). Orbits can be calculated with mathematical precision; social trends cannot.)

To illustrate the dangers of extrapolation, let’s consider the little chart below, prepared by a helpful assistant (who happens to have access to a scanner). The chart provides some interesting data on the age of a hypothetical cat named “Fluffy” and her projected life expectancy. As you can see, Fluffy was hypothetically born in 2001, making her ten years old today, with her age increasing by one every year. (Just pretend that the numbers line up properly; my assistant, despite her many other charms, is not big on precision, and may have been drunk when she prepared this chart.) Based on this data (which show Fluffy’s age increasing by one every year), we could project that by the time the next century rolls around our dear little cat will be 99 years old.

If projecting the future were as easy as drawing little lines on graphs, the world would be a much simpler, and much less interesting, place to live. Most of us realize this. MRAs and MGTOWers, not so much.

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PosterformerlyknownasElizabeth

Maybe the formalized arrangement of marriage where people stand up in front of others and make some kind of legally binding pledge is trending downward-that does not mean people are not mating as in two people forming a new family unit.

I know those with no concept of history *cough* NWOaf *cough* think this means that society is DOOOOOOMED but it just means that society is reverting to what relationships had been before splitting couples drove everyone crazy over their antique doorknobs and who should get them. And at some point the state will be dragged right back in no matter how little it wants to be involved so those formerly informal arrangements will become formal again.

Men's Rights Activist Lieutenant
Men's Rights Activist Lieutenant
9 years ago

Wow, I keep trying to avoid the subject of my looks and my problems but it seems the lure of insulting me is just too great for a lot of people here.

Kave
Kave
9 years ago

That’s because you’re disposable mral. You asked what I meant by that it’s really quite simple. A persons value is based on what they contribute to society. Do you contribute anything of value? From what I’ve seen of you here I would say not, in fact your constant self pity is in of itself a drain on society, the people around you..

Will you ever grow up and become a productive member of society or will you forever be a garbage person? Will you grow up to help others or spend your life expecting others to help you?

Men's Rights Activist Lieutenant
Men's Rights Activist Lieutenant
9 years ago

When I’m a billionaire, I will find out your name, find out where you work, buy that company, and fire you.

Molly Ren
9 years ago

MRAL: I laughed really hard. Thanks. 😛

Pecunium
9 years ago

Molly Ren: I learned it as

Queer
Uncertain
Intergender
Lesbian
Trans
Bi
Asexual
Gay

Thus filling all the letters of QUILTBAG

Pecunium
9 years ago

Kave: I was on the road, so I have been behind (I try to read all the comments). I’m so sorry. I don’t know what else to say, save that you all have my best wishes.

Helena
Helena
6 years ago

First of all, your article makes no sense, since there is objectively no such thing as a “misogynist”. A misogynist, according to Julia Gillard, former prime minister of Australia, is simply anybody (of either gender) who disagrees with a female or dares to have any opinion of his/her own. So, in feminist terms, a misogynist is any woman who dares to think for herself.

Secondly, marriage trends are going down. This doesn’t mean much, true, as couples are still co-habitating, having sex, and making babies. It is only when heterosexual men overcome their addiction to female approval in any form that the world will become truly liberated. As long as men need female approval, some malicious women will be able to manipulate men. If we truly want to live in a just world, women need to stop seeking to manipulate men and men need to stop enabling female manipulation. Society needs to stop shaming independent men. An independent man is a MGTOWer. Why do we ONLY celebrate female independence, I wonder? If independent women are fabulous, then surely independent men are fabulous too!

kittehserf
6 years ago

You’re full of shit, “Helena”. That isn’t what the PM said and misogyny is very much a thing. Crawl back under your rock, little necro-troll.

cloudiah
6 years ago

Commenting just to check that little “Notify me of follow-up comments via email” box.

Helena, stop necroing old threads in a pathetic attempt to have the last word. It’s sad.

kittehserf
6 years ago

I’m laughing at the nym, too. Helena seems mightily invested in standing up for the noble MGTOW dudes.

CassandraSays
6 years ago

Exploding sock drawer!

kittehserf
6 years ago

That’s certainly my impression.

cloudiah
6 years ago

But which troll?

CassandraSays
6 years ago

Who knows? And more importantly, who cares?

kittehserf
6 years ago

They’re like clones, after a while.

CassandraSays
6 years ago

“They’ll have to take me seriously if I pick a feminine nym!”

kittehserf
6 years ago

Y’kinda hope trolly is just trolling for lulz, because if anyone was genuinely that stupid, it’d be almost sad.

Almost.

Ally S
6 years ago

Society needs to stop shaming independent men.

Please be a stand-up comedian.

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

Oh dear gods. I missed MRAL before he was banned. I see why he’s seen as more than just a goddamned nuisance. Blog herpes is too kind a nickname, herpes is annoying but really not that dangerous. MRAL…hm, syphillis, if not caught early it may drive you insane?

Helena — congrats, you’re a necro-troll, run along now please.

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