November 18, 2008

Post-feminist/post-sanity Darwinism read way too early in the morning.

Last night, between first and second sleep, I scanned the blogs for something to read and landed on "Love in the Time of Darwinism," by Kay S. Hymowitz.

There's an Instapundit post from 2:40 a.m. linking to it with the line "A REPORT FROM THE chaotic post-feminist dating scene." Post-feminist... or post-morality, post-sanity, post-... everything?

Is Glenn really up looking for new stuff to throw at us at 2:40 in the morning, or does he just set these things up to post at the times he sees fit... and if the latter: why this, why 2:40?

Hymowitz tells us us that men these days are angry -- angry that "young women are dishonest, self-involved, slutty, manipulative, shallow, controlling, and gold-digging" and "that the culture disses all things male" and "that marriage these days is a raw deal for men."
SYMs [single young males] of the postfeminist era are moving around in a Babel of miscues, cross-purposes, and half-conscious, contradictory female expectations that are alternately proudly egalitarian and coyly traditional...

As the disenchanted SYM sees it, then, resistance to settling down is a rational response to a dating environment designed and ruled by women with only their own interests in mind. “Men see all of this, and wonder if it’s really worth risking all in the name of ‘romance’ and ‘growing up,’ ” a correspondent who calls himself Wytchfinde explains. “After all, if women can be hedonistic and change the rules in midstream when it suits them, why shouldn’t men? Why should men be responsible when women refuse to look into the mirror at their own lack of accountability?”...

By far the most important philosopher of the Menaissance is Charles Darwin. The theory that human sexual preferences evolved from the time that hominids successfully reproduced in the primeval African grasslands can explain the mystery of women’s preference for macho—or alpha—males. At the same time, evolutionary theory gives the former wuss permission to pursue massive amounts of sex with an endless assortment of women. Finally, the emphasis that Darwinism places on natural selection encourages him to adapt to the brutal current sexual ecosystem. Culture, in both its feminist and Emily Post forms, hasn’t won him any favor with women, so he will embrace Nature in all its rude harshness.
(Paging Bob Wright.)

Hymowitz proceeds to tell us about something called the Seduction Community -- "a loose network of dating coaches, gurus" who teach something called Game, by which men can pick up women and use them however they like.
Teachers encourage clients to project confidence and sexual energy, what is called, depending on the guru, “cocky funny” or “amused mastery.” In The Aquarian, a New York–based music magazine, Kevin Purcell describes his experience at a Game workshop: “One of our first tasks was to walk around the hotel silent, repeating in our heads ‘I don’t give a fuck what anyone thinks about me.’ This mentality, it was assumed, would help lower the wall of anxiety and make us less prone to the pain of rejection. Like soldiers responding to a drill sergeant, when asked ‘What are you?’ we were instructed to loudly proclaim, ‘A fucking ten!’ ”
Wait! How much do guys pay for this training? Are Penn & Teller working on an episode of "Bullshit" on about Game? I'd say it's asking for it. I want to cameras at that hotel, pointed at those would-be pick-up artists wandering about thinking "‘I don’t give a fuck what anyone thinks about me." Presumably, they wouldn't object to the cameras, since they don’t give a fuck what anyone thinks about them. To be fair, the guys are getting fucked... one way or another.

There's much more at the link. You can read it or not. Your call.

As I said, I read it in the middle of the night, in that strange mental peak between first and second sleep. And it freaked me out. Oh, so this is what life is like now, for those people in that most important part of life, the place from which the next generation springs (if it is to spring at all)? (I've been reading Mark Steyn's "America Alone," and that laid the groundwork for disturbing thoughts about a culture's failure to bring men and women together in reproductive success -- which is, of course, the real Darwinism.)

I clicked over to Metafilter for some fresh air, and the first thing I saw was a post about "Love in the Time of Darwinism." Everyone was trashing Hymowitz. It wasn't exactly comforting. In fact they sounded... SYMish. But it unfreaked me out nontheless. It broke the spell. And, anyway, my iPhone power was close to 0% and that's as good an indication as any that it's time for second sleep.

87 comments:

MadisonMan said...

You are wordy today. Whatever happened to crisp! short! blog posts!

zeek said...

..."that the culture disses all things male" and "that marriage these days is a raw deal for men."

Sounds like the early 90's Year of the Woman/Evil White Male bashing all over again. Boy am I glad my penis has taken a vow of cruel neutrality.

Ron said...

I got sucked down this rat hole also... and wound up kind of bored. Too verbose for Maxim, so it gets in City Journal...

Pogo said...

Pretty soon the only men who get married will be gay.

Darcy said...

Aww...Pogo!

I read this off of Reynolds' site this morning. I found it pretty interesting, though I happily did not recognize any of these types of people.

laura said...

Another urban myth - opposites attract, bites the dust.

vivian said...

I found both articles to be painfully true, but perhaps that's because I live in New York, a special place that seems to encourage the infantilizing of men. It wasn't until I gave up the fairy tale of sexual liberation without consequence that I finally found someone to settle down with.

jdeeripper said...

Pogo said...Pretty soon the only men who get married will be gay.

Too bad downtownlad wont live to see it.

Henry said...

Hymowitz proceeds to tell us about something called the Seduction Community -- "a loose network of dating coaches, gurus" who teach something called Game, by which men can pick up women and use them however they like.

Tom Cruise. Magnolia. Old news.

Robert said...

In reference to Pogo's comment (at 10:47 a.m.): Perhaps all of the gay men in California should read this article. They might have a different take on Prop 8's success. Or...are gay men trying to get out of the same dating culture? Has straight dating culture become more like gay dating culture because there is less need to be married to get laid? Or less need to be a decent human being to get laid? Oye. Too light out to be thinking about this...

Pogo said...

Tom Wolfe explains it, (emphasis mine):

"Take feminism. It involves a huge change in moral standards. There’s the feminist doctrine of freedom of predation. It says a woman should be just as free as a man when it comes to the role of sexual aggressor. She can hit on the guy, if she feels like it. And if a female student wants to do the old in-and-out with one of her professors or anybody else, that’s her business. Think about it for a second. That’s a huge change in morals, and it was incubated in the universities."

Meade said...

Hymowitz tells us us that men these days are angry -- angry that "young women are dishonest, self-involved, slutty, manipulative, shallow, controlling, and gold-digging" and "that the culture disses all things male" and "that marriage these days is a raw deal for men."

This is some kind of news flash?

It has always been so. There is "The Game" and then there is "The Challenge." The Challenge is where aging young males search for women to mate up with who are not dishonest, self-involved, slutty, manipulative, shallow, controlling, and/or gold-digging. The trick, for the male, begins with projecting confidence, sexual energy, and a sincere attitude of I DO give a fuck what others think about me because I want to be a good husband to a good woman who enjoys and respects my maleness - maleness that includes enjoying and respecting her femaleness - and then settling down, putting in a vegetable garden, going hunting and fishing, and raising up a mess of kids who know wrong from right by the time they turn 31.

The Game and The Challenge rarely occur on the same playing field.

Meade said...

Pogo said...
Tom Wolfe...There’s the feminist doctrine of freedom of predation...

"You'll wish you'd never ever met her at all."

SteveR said...

To the extent we have evolved from a time when men could physically force women into sex, the lack of cunning developed in men due the sheer reliance on physical dominance, has left them unable to understand women.

Women, in spite of being more shrewd, are naturally more attracted to men who might have been better mates 10,000 years ago but are often capable of acting quite "neanderthal" with all due respect to neanderthals.

All that to say that even though the playing field has changed, this doesn't look a lot different than 30 years ago and I'm glad to be out of the arena.

LordSomber said...

But where are die Menschen?

Melinda said...

The last time I was single--20 years ago--I met plenty of guys who were into "The Game" but few who were up to "The Challenge."

Meade said...

"with all due respect to neanderthals."

Why thank you.

m00se said...

Glenn uses scheduled postings - he queues up content and it posts according to some randomized schedule, I beleive.

I do think we're back to "nig" here...

Meade said...

That's right Melinda - the proud, the few: the neanderthals.

Darcy said...

Ok...no more Tom Wolfe for you, Pogo! :) (And no more Wolfe for me either, since Charlotte Simmons made her appearance.)

I think Meade has it right. Well, I hope, anyway.

William said...

The totally annoying behavior of women during the courtship dance is, in fact, Darwinian in origin. If a man can keep his patience when a woman arrives a half hour late for the date, chooses the most expensive item on the menu and takes two desultory bites out of it before going on to desert, such a man will not abandon her with a nursing infant....I think parthogenesis will be the wave of the future.

1jpb said...

It's true there are too many grily-men.

Even urban, professional men should have power tools.

Who can build a house from scratch?

I win.

P.S.

On a personal one-on-one level I've always discovered that the strongly expressed feminist resistance to distinguishing man's work and woman's work in domestic life is paper thin. The simple explanation of division of labor cuts right through the orthodoxy. The nearly immediate capitulation and even comfort in contrast to the initial (trained?) claim of offense is shocking. In experience, even hard core feminists with all the expressed big picture outrage outside of a personal relationship don't seem to have any problem with a "you make dinner, I'll clean the gutters" personal relationship.

Maybe there would be a problem if there was a "you make diner, I'll sit on the sofa" dynamic.

SteveR said...

Meade: some of my best friends are neanderthals and they are mostly not like the stereptype. Mostly.

John Lynch said...

I've had the suspicion that Instapundit uses scheduled posting for day to day posts, not just vacations. It's just speculation.

The article is good, and I think that a lot of people go through a phase of being utterly frustrated with the opposite sex.

Most people get over it.

Pogo said...

Darcy, I think it's nearly impossible to exceed one's Tom Wolfe quotient!

"Most people get over it."
Not most; ever fewer.
The number of people marrying has declined in the last 45 years; now 51% of all women (and men) live without a spouse; up from 35% in 1950. The number of older unmarried women is greater simply because women live longer, and become widowed.

"Only about 30 percent of black women are living with a spouse, according to the Census Bureau, compared with about 49 percent of Hispanic women."

According to the US Census Bureau’s June 2006 Current Population Survey, 55% of men are married, down from 69.3% in 1960, and 51.5% of women are married, down from 65.9% in 1960.

This is only a problem if one worries about how children are raised. Fortunately, in the US, issues of diversity trump actual outcomes, and the benefits of a heterosexual marriage for children will remain disputed, even rejected.

And we lurch toward Europe, which as Mark Steyn points out is rapidly disappearing for this very same reason.

People are marrying and having babies, just not people enamored of Western civilization.

ricpic said...

Well, I didn't read the Hymowitz article, but isn't it a fact that if you're talking about twentysomethings women have always had an advantage when it comes to the dating game?

What do men want? 36-24-36. As long as she isn't a complete doofus that'll do. And it's not as shallow as it sounds. 36-24-36 flashes good health and good reproductive capacity to the male as well as the more obvious. So an attractive healthy young woman doesn't have to bring more than her seductive (by nature's design) package to the table.

What do women want? In a word, confidence. But confidence, for the male, comes with his having established himself in the world. And with rare exceptions that's not the case for twentysomething males. So they substitute bragadoccio for confidence...which most young females see through easily.

Talk about an uneven playing field. No wonder their twenties for young men are,to quote James T. Farrell, "My years of anger."

John Stodder said...

I read the Hymowitz article and visited some of the links she mentions (but doesn't actually link to). I especially enjoyed "Hot Chicks with Douchebags," (http://tinyurl.com/m8agz) but I use the word "enjoy" loosely.

Boiled down to its essence, the lesson young men should take from all this is: Confidence attracts women. You've got all the Darwinian logic you need right there.

In preliterate times, I'm sure a man with confidence about his hunting prowess or his ability to navigate in the dense jungle attracted more possible mates than the man who seemed overmatched by such tasks. It wasn't that the women observed their hunting exploits; his confidence was their primary clue to his survival skills.

No doubt this is why taller, stronger, smarter and/or wealthier men seem to have an initial advantage with women, because knowing you have these attributes feeds into your confidence, and always has for the entire history of humanity. Some of these qualities are assigned by the luck of the genetic draw, but others can be cultivated through education and hard work.

"The Game" and other seduction seminars seem to convey the idea that confidence is just an act that anyone can learn. Maybe if your only goal is to sleep with easily-fooled women, and only one time, it can work. But it seems like a diversion from what men who want great women in their lives ought to be doing.

I have to say, I don't find anything wrong with teaching the notion that men ought to wait until they've established themselves in their careers before applying themselves to the task of pursuing women, even if it means that some will wait til their 30s. That advice seems almost conservative -- deferring gratification. It's hard for young men especially to ignore their raging libidos, but they might be better off if they prioritized education and business. There's no denying their choice of women to date will expand if they wait.

I wonder how much of what Kay Hymowitz has defined as a cultural shift is merely a case of what were once instinctive, intuitive and almost unspoken truths about men and women now becoming more transparent, more verbalized and more commercialized; and that the changes are only on the surface as people play with the text. The subtext probably doesn't change.

John Stodder said...

or, what ricpic said three minutes before me.

John Stodder said...

Re: Pogo's numbers showing a decline in marriage and children living in two-parent households.

When reading such numbers, I find myself trying to figure out whether there might be another explanation besides the decline of our culture.

I suspect the answer here is wealth. We have so much more wealth in our society that women now feel less fearful of bringing children into the world. If the man leaves, the children are unlikely to die, so therefore it's less important to choose a man who can provide security, or will even promise to do so. Everything from the social safety net to the much greater range of economic opportunities for women gives women the option of choosing a reproductive partner more casually, and breaking off with that partner if he isn't who she wants to be with at some point in the future. Men receive the same social cue. Perhaps 100 years ago, it would have been seen as a dastardly and cowardly act to leave behind a women with one's children, and so a basic sense of honor and concern for reputation would stop a man from doing this. Now a man can say, not without reason, the woman can handle the situation. The man knows he will pay child support, whether he wants to or not. A job, extended family (including longer-living grandparents) will help, and if all else fails, there is welfare. Divorce or abandonment might be a terrible thing for the children psychologically and in other ways, but there is some assurance the kids won't starve to death.

One might say our wealth has eroded character. Or you could say our wealth has exposed character flaws that were previously hidden due to fear of scandal and approbation.

Darcy said...

LOL, Pogo. Not for me, I guess. I think he's brilliant, but I Am Charlotte Simmons was just...gross. And scared the hell out of me as a parent.

Pogo said...

I don't read novels, so I'll take your word for it. I meant Wolfe's nonfiction/essays, which I love to read.

I have little patience for fiction, I'm sorry to say. I envy people who enjoy them; it's a real demerit on my soul.

SteveR said...

While I stumble around trying to make a comment, I only hope that John Stodder will come along and express the same thing only much better and more clearly.

If he beats me to it, I can avoid the effort.

Pogo said...

"... I find myself trying to figure out whether there might be another explanation besides the decline of our culture.
...One might say our wealth has eroded character. Or you could say our wealth has exposed character flaws that were previously hidden due to fear of scandal and approbation."


john, I think that's the equivalent of 'the deline of our culture'.

LarsPorsena said...

"While I stumble around trying to make a comment, I only hope that John Stodder will come along and express the same thing only much better and more clearly.

If he beats me to it, I can avoid the effort."

That goes for me too.

JAL said...

Is Glenn really up looking for new stuff to throw at us at 2:40 in the morning, or does he just set these things up to post at the times he sees fit... and if the latter: why this, why 2:40?

Like Moose said.

Glenn actually mentioned doing this this -- what -- 6 or 8 weeks ago? I think it soothes the west coast, Hawaiian and Japanese (he's probably blocked in China) readers, who go online before they hit the sack to see if there is anything new from Glenn.

Can't answer the latter -- 2:40 a.m. Eastern or 1:40 Central? Who knows. One of those times is just as good as another, I guess.

As for the dating culture... seems to be a heck of a lot more complicated than it used to be.

Is evolution always good?

John Stodder said...

john, I think that's the equivalent of 'the decline of our culture'.

I guess the Great Recession will tell the tale. I bet divorce rates and single-parent family rates will go down if our economy slows down for long.

We want our children to be cared for in this society. Some of us are merely willing to let someone else do it, if they're offering. It's a response to economic and social incentives. Change the incentives, change the outcomes.

Darcy said...

And I envy people who can read nonfiction all day long, Pogo.

Kirby Olson said...

The secret is Christian women at mainline Protestant and Catholic churches. That's the way out.

All the other women are using SdB as their model.

If you're Sartre, that's cool. If you're not, just go to church.

Saves your soul, saves your love life.

blake said...

Yes, Glenn announced he was putting things in the queue to come out overnight. The kids seem to like it.

I read this, in fact, last night when it appeared.

My reaction tends to be: Meh. (Now an official word!)

It's a small game to play. Compare it with hooking up with your high school sweetheart and sticking by her for 50 years or more, raising a family, having grandchildren, doing the sickness-and-in-health, richer-and-poorer thing.

That's got some scope compared to "How am I going to get laid this weekend?" Besides, really, where's the challenge these days in that?

Pogo said...

Marriage isn't so hard, but having kids is hard. It's become increasingly easy to opt out of that necessary work, by having none or by letting others raise them, or just abdicating the role entirely. Moreover, the benefits to the US of these little platoons are taken wholly for granted.

All that free sex taught us is that genital stimulation ├╝ber alles is bad for the future. But since our society is based entirely on the now, so the future is someone else's problem.

But ask yourself, why would children raised largely by institutions (daycare, schools) feel bad about putting their parents in one later?

Jimmy said...

I think a big part of this "The Game" phenomenon is that it teaches men the protocol of dating. How do they signal women, and how women perceive their signals.

The romantic comedies these days is a big part of where people get their dating "ideals", and they don't do a good job teaching people the dating protocols.

And that is part of what "The Game" teaches you, in most of their varieties: Which woman is attracted to you? How do you let her know you're interested too? When do you know to move on to a more interested target?

Tom Tucker said...

I live in boston, went to college in DC, and this makes complete sense to me. I also recently got engaged, and am very happy about it. (age 32)

An old Cris Rock routine:

A man's test in life is material, a woman's test in life, is a man.

Dave Chappelle:

A man doesn't drive a nice car b/c he likes nice cars, he drives it b/c women like nice cars. If a man could get laid, he'd live in a cardboard box.

Me: If women and men are becoming more "equal," it seems that women are adding material to their test, not just men. So this makes sense to me...

Seven Machos said...

I liked the article. It was entertaining, if nothing else.

I think the author is overly nostalgic for a past that wasn't as rules-oriented as she claims it was.

I also think that one of the problems that men are having is a lack of binding institutions. In a big city, you are just out there. Good luck to you. Women like confidence and all that, but they also want to trust who you are before having sex with you. This is why it's so easy to hook up with single women at weddings. You've already been vetted.

montana urban legend said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
montana urban legend said...

So this is very interesting. The message I'm taking from it is that while women very much wanted a sense of independence that was traditionally male, they wanted no part of developing their own version of a sense of chivalry to accompany it.

It is both ironic and predictable that being petty (which is the way I'd define the opposite of chivalrous and how they coped with the new reality) turned out to be such a self-defeating strategy.

fivewheels said...

"Change the incentives, change the outcomes."

I think what it all comes down to is, your grandmother was right when she said, "Why buy the cow when the milk is free?"

More and more men, myself included, have also begun to think about our goals, and instead of giving in to the cultural brainwashing that says all men's main priority must be establishing a family, have thought about whether that really is what we want. All power to you if it really is, but it's not for me. And I look around and I see a lot of men trapped in their suburban family existences who do not enjoy it, and seemingly never asked themselves if they would before they started down that path.

Family life is hard work and sacrifice and all that. So a logical Vulcan type will want a payoff before embarking upon it. The milk used to be the payoff. Take that out of the equation, and you have a lot of married guys I know who envy the single life as it now exists. Few of us single guys look the other way over the fence and see greener grass.

To the comment above that the "Game" is no way to find a great woman in your life, I can only paraphrase Joe Pesci from Goodfellas: "There's a great woman in my life just about every weekend."

Lotta fish in the sea.

jdeeripper said...

PUA - Pick Up Artist. Who wants a woman who can be "picked up"? Like she's trash or something on the floor. Low ranking. Bottom feeder material.

Marriage is an "institution". Who the hell wants to be put into an institution? The name gives it away.

Don't you want to be let out of an institution? Even an institution of higher learning, you don't expect to be there till you die. Unless you are a teacher or administrator.

It's like being a prison guard. Who voluntarily goes into a penal institution even to be a guard? Losers. People who can't do better, those who want to settle.

"Falling in love". Since when is falling into something a good thing? Rarely. Falling into a vat of chocolate maybe. But mostly it means you're worse off.

You "pick up" a woman. You "fall in love". And then get put into an "institution".

It's right there in the language. I have no sympathy for people who can't see the obvious. You deserve your pain.

Revenant said...

I think what it all comes down to is, your grandmother was right when she said, "Why buy the cow when the milk is free?"

It is more a matter of "if you buy the cow, you're going to spend the rest of your life dealing with cow excrement". :)

Right now, the expectation is that the man is the junior partner in the marriage. Like the joke goes: "I wanted to go to Vegas, my wife wanted to go to Florida, so we compromised -- we're going to Florida". The man is expected to yield to the woman on anything that actually matters, from the kids to the family finances to trivial stuff like what shows to watch on TV. And that's if everything goes well! If things go poorly, the man can look forward to being shafted to within an inch of his life by the courts, blamed for the failure of the marriage, and hardly getting to see his kids anymore.

Even if this was the ONLY way to get sex -- even if most wives concerned themselves with keeping their husbands sexually satisfied (and most don't) -- it wouldn't be worth it.

blake said...

PUA - Pick Up Artist. Who wants a woman who can be "picked up"? Like she's trash or something on the floor. Low ranking. Bottom feeder material.

I'm pretty sure the "seduction community" operates on the principle that any woman can be picked up.

Which, you know, doesn't bode well for the guy who then decides he wants a non-cheating wife.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

So this is very interesting. The message I'm taking from it is that while women very much wanted a sense of independence that was traditionally male, they wanted no part of developing their own version of a sense of chivalry to accompany it

I agree. It has come to be a one way street and all towards the women at the disadvantage of the men. No consideration for the feelings of men.

Observations:

It is a generational thing. Young women want it all and want it now. Previous generations were more able to compromise. Take the bad with the good. Overlook the small flaws that we all have.

It's a regional thing. City vs Rural. Urban vs. Suburban. City women and men have the instant gratification thing that was mentioned in a previous post. Also a supply and demand concept. Lots of fish in the sea.....so to speak in the urban area. So why committ? Move along another fish will show up.

It's an economic thing. Beggars can't be choosers. You pick from what you have available.

Fairy tales can't come true I blame the media storm portraying how a relationship should be 'perfect' 'wonderful' with no work or inconvience. Marriage in a box. Just add champagne and ....ta dah.....perfection.

In reality, a loving relationship is a compromise, it needs hard work, mutual trust, understanding, forgiveness, sense of humor, thick skin, the ability to turn a blind eye, put yourself in the other's place, appreciation of the other's stering qualities and the ability overlook the small faults that we all have.

Darcy said...

Aww...Revenant. That was a killer last paragraph.

John Stodder said...

Revenant, wow.

Does this come from experience or observation?

I've been married three times; divorced, widowed and now still married. I don't like marriage every day, but basically I love it. I feel the same way about life in general. It's a day to day thing. My wife is no more of a pain in the butt than I am.

Marriage involves sacrifice, but also many rewards, and the rewards grow and evolve as you get older while the sacrifice seems to diminish.

The Vegas/Florida joke describes a world unknown to me. My wife and I don't go around the house declaring what we each want individually. We brainstorm. Sometimes we stalemate, but usually we come up with something we both want. It is extremely rare that I find myself doing something I disagree with just because my wife is forcing me to do it.

The hardest part of marriage is the melding of two personalities. There is no such thing as a "perfect match." The gears grind sometimes in the best marriages. The mystery of what another person is really all about doesn't get solved, not even by marrying them and living with them for 10 years. Your spouse will always surprise you. To some, maybe that's disconcerting. Others find it sexy.

amba said...

This calls for a videogame: SYM city. You get a score depending on how many times you score, or something.

amba said...

It seems to me that some men -- the kind who have never become fully human, and don't see why they should -- are always looking for excuses to indulge their biological tendency toward consequence- and content-free screwing around. And women seem all too willing to provide such excuses. Those men end up terribly lonely after 50, unless they are rich and can fool themselves that young bunnies or pets are willing to screw and marry them for some reason other than their money.

amba said...

I guess the Great Recession will tell the tale. I bet divorce rates and single-parent family rates will go down if our economy slows down for long.

John Stodder: my next-door neighbor for years in Greenwich Village, a splendid, lesbian artist from a fine old Georgia family (her grandfather, a Congressman, freed his slaves before the Civil War) whom we knew till she died in her 80s, used to say acidly, when she saw people behaving badly in both time-honored and newfangled ways, "We need another Great Depression!" During the first one, new to New York (but having already traveled alone in China), she lived on ten-cent bunches of bananas and had over 100 interviews before she got a job.

John Stodder said...

It seems to me that some men -- the kind who have never become fully human,

Marriage, like voting, is not mandatory. I don't think I'd want to tar all unmarried men with the same brush -- as not fully formed or immature. I can think of a guy I know who is a completely evolved person, salt of the earth, who shivers at the idea of getting married every time it's been mentioned to him since I met him in, oh, 1989. He just likes being in charge of his time, keeps himself very busy with business and civic activities, and stays close to his parents and siblings and their families. He just didn't see any room for a spouse in all that. He probably did whichever woman he might've otherwise picked out a favor.

Revenant said...

It seems to me that some men -- the kind who have never become fully human

The assertion that sexually active single men don't count as fully human performs the hat trick of being simultaneously incredibly insulting and completely fucking retarded. You win the Doyle award for this thread.

Those men end up terribly lonely after 50

Anyone who needs a spouse to avoid being lonely has something desperately wrong with their personality. Maybe that's a problem you have; certainly your unjustified feelings of smug superiority might be a stumbling block there. But for the rest of humanity there's nothing stopping a person from having good, close friends they aren't married to. Ok, sure, a 50 year old guy isn't getting laid like he used to, but neither is a 50 year old married guy.

unless they are rich and can fool themselves that young bunnies or pets are willing to screw and marry them for some reason other than their money.

The real trick is that so many middle-class women fool themselves into thinking money isn't a major factor in their decision to wed. But men who make less than them remain mysteriously unattractive to most women. :)

theobromophile said...

What do men want? 36-24-36. As long as she isn't a complete doofus that'll do. And it's not as shallow as it sounds. 36-24-36 flashes good health and good reproductive capacity to the male as well as the more obvious. So an attractive healthy young woman doesn't have to bring more than her seductive (by nature's design) package to the table.

Give me a break. If the requirements for getting a date were simply those measurements, I would be awash in men.

Problematically, though, I - and many other young women - come with all sorts of other flaws, like brains in our heads, a lack of the requisite bitchiness (men seem to simply adore women who are cruel to them, believing that they've landed themselves a lass who is such a catch that she needn't bother with kindness), and a sense of independence and joy in our own lives. Deal-breakers, all of them. Cripes, if I wanted to get a date, I would be better off gaining 20 pounds, losing my education, and acquiring STDs and drug habits.

Half-brained sluts provide both an unlimited supply of sex and an ego boost. There's no way that a nice girl can expect affection, commitment, and intellectual stimulation to compete with that. Really, people. What are we, humans?

Revenant said...

Give me a break. If the requirements for getting a date were simply those measurements, I would be awash in men.

But the reasons you cite for not being awash in men sound more like reasons the men in question don't meet YOUR standards. It isn't that men are looking for something more than a nice body, it is that you're looking for men who are looking for more than a nice body. That's the reason the overweight druggies have no trouble getting men: because neither they NOR the men in question have standards.

And by the way, I don't know who convinced you men like bitchy women, but I assure you they were wrong. :)

blake said...

I confess to a certain confusion: If women prefer men that treat them badly, and men prefer women that treat them badly, why isn't everyone happy?

amba said...

can you read? I didn't equate ALL single, sexually active young men with "not fully human." But some of the people on this thread do strike me that way -- like the one who said Obama may not have screwed around much because his wife "can still compete with other women." I do regard men who don't regard women as human to have settled complacently for something less than being human, and I hope they enjoy their loneliness because they will have earned it.

amba said...

"most" women? That's fairly broad-brush and insulting, I'd say. Takes one to know one

I know quite a few, now, who are married to men who earn less. The reason is simple -- women don't need men to survive economically or socially any more. That frees them to choose men for other reasons than net worth or respectability. Granted, the past lingers in many women's psyches too, but gold-digging is far from universal.

amba said...

Blake: who wants to be happy? All the evidence suggests that what people REALLY want is to suffer exquisitely and complain about it.

blake said...

Blake: who wants to be happy? All the evidence suggests that what people REALLY want is to suffer exquisitely and complain about it.

Oh, well, then: Mission accomplished!

Revenant said...

"most" women? That's fairly broad-brush and insulting, I'd say. Takes one to know one

It is factually correct. You can choose to be insulted by it or not.

It is also a fact that men are fully human regardless of how much they sleep around. Your opinions to the contrary notwithstanding.

amba said...

You could say that the human family was an unnatural achievement and that we're now reverting to a social structure like that of elephants, chimpanzees, and dolphins, in which males and females separate like oil and water, and women and children hang together while the males rove around together getting laid and fighting (or making art, war, trouble, and money, or whatever it is that makes the human male distinctly "human").

Another way to look at it is that we've duplicated every possible social structure in the animal world. We have bucks with harem/herds and lovey-dovey mate-for-life monogamy as well as the elephant-chimp model. On the second model you could literally say marriage is for the birds.

I have a real distaste for the sardonic Darwinian embrace of "biology is destiny" and that's all there is. As it applies to both sexes. Suggesting that women are destined to be domestic and men to be promiscuous. It's too easy to fall back on. Whoever said go to church if you want to find a good woman was on to something.

Pogo said...

"we've duplicated every possible social structure in the animal world"

Exactly! Guess which one was the best fit for advancing Western civilization?

Guess which ones are best at fomenting cultural balkanization, stagnation, and decline?

Jason said...

Theobromphile...

So how YOU doin'?

:D

fivewheels said...

"Problematically, though, I - and many other young women - come with all sorts of other flaws, like brains in our heads, a lack of the requisite bitchiness ... and a sense of independence and joy in our own lives"

I think, in general, if a person believes the problem is that she simply has too damn many wonderful qualities, and she's just too damned good for men to handle ... maybe she should reconsider what (and who) the source of the problem is. Occam's Razor may provide an important alternative answer.

theobromophile said...

Well, Firewheel, let me point out a few things, since you seem to have just fallen off the turnip truck:

1. Men generally want women who have not slept around (either from a desire to play Marco Polo or the biological drive to know that her kids are his kids). Men also like women who put out early on, because they like getting laid. This leads to the situation in which they date chaste women, then dump them because the ladies in question are acting like they've always acted.

2. Men like the idea of dating smart women, but, like chastity, find it better in theory than in practise. In fact, it's science! For every 16-point rise in IQ, women have a 40% decreased chance of finding a husband. (The opposite is true for men: every additional 16 points brings them a 35% increased chance of matrimony, until the super-ridiculous genius levels.)

3. There's a reason why books entitled "Why Men Love Bitches" sell. It's true. As I said earlier, men like bitchy women, because they think they've landed a girl who is so in demand, so worthwhile, and has so much going on that she doesn't need to be nice.

Revenant said...

Exactly! Guess which one was the best fit for advancing Western civilization?

Well, looking at the great figures of western history, one is tempted too say "a man with one wife and one or more mistresses". That's probably not what you meant, though.

blake said...

1. Men generally want women who have not slept around [but] they like getting laid. This leads to the situation in which they date chaste women, then dump them because the ladies in question are acting like they've always acted.

This is a new one on me. Not that there are two competing drives but that men who value chastity then dump women for being chaste.

2. Men like the idea of dating smart women, but, like chastity, find it better in theory than in practise. In fact, it's science! For every 16-point rise in IQ, women have a 40% decreased chance of finding a husband.

You're assuming that the woman getting smarter leads to reduced chances of matrimony entirely because men reject her for being smart, as opposed to the woman being pickier.

Now, I can certainly believe that intelligence, like height and income, may be something that men and women tend to agree the man should have more of.

3. There's a reason why books entitled "Why Men Love Bitches" sell. It's true. As I said earlier, men like bitchy women, because they think they've landed a girl who is so in demand, so worthwhile, and has so much going on that she doesn't need to be nice.

I can't help but feel this goes back to IQ. Heh.

blake said...

Well, looking at the great figures of western history, one is tempted too say "a man with one wife and one or more mistresses". That's probably not what you meant, though.

Actually, you wouldn't look at them so much as their parents and grandparents, etc., eh?

"Great figures" seldom have other "geat figures" as children.

Jimmy said...

theo,

you can probably find more "smart men" if you give the nerds a chance ;)

Revenant said...

This leads to the situation in which they date chaste women, then dump them because the ladies in question are acting like they've always acted.

I think theo has fallen through a time warp from the 1950s or something. This is the first I've heard of a woman being dumped because she WAS putting out.

The real pattern is this: guy meets hot but annoying woman. Guy's testes overrule his brain and he pursues her. Once the testes are satisfied, the brain reasserts control and demands that the body stop hanging out with an annoying person all damn day. Guy dumps woman. It isn't that he doesn't want a woman who offers sex. It is that once a guy is sexually satisfied he actually starts paying attention to the other stuff.

theobromophile said...

Rev - our wires crossed. I meant that men dump women who don't put out, not the other way around.

No time warp. I'm living in the 21st century, wherein sex is a prerequisite to dating. Got that memo.

theobromophile said...

Jimmy,

After hearing about the horror stories of those super-picky, superficial women who passed up great guys, I had never turned down a date until I was in my mid/late 20s.

---

Miscellanea: I've read, in several places, that married men tend to be happier than their unmarried counterparts. They also live longer and have more sex. Of course, some of the causation flows in reverse: happier men are more likely to get married.

Nevertheless, combining that with the fact that women initiate between 60% and 80% of the divorces, it makes me wonder why everyone considers marriage to be such a raw deal for men. Sure, if you're happy, it would really suck (to put it mildly) to have divorce forced upon you, but if you're happy and your wife is not, then that's a problem that needs addressing before she's ready to hand you the walking papers.

Revenant said...

There's a reason why books entitled "Why Men Love Bitches" sell.

Yeah, it is because many women are convinced there must be some hidden secret to men's behavior wherein, if women could just figure it out, they'd be able to land the perfect guy. Every couple of years there's a new fad, a new Secret to How Men Work.

Jeff Foxworthy said it best:

I have found that because women are complicated they like to think men are complicated too. You ever hear a group of women talking to each other, "Oh, I wish I knew what he was really thinking". Ladies, I'll tell you what we're really thinking. We're really thinking "I'd like a beer and I'd like to see something naked"

Or like Dave Chapelle said, in cruder terms:

Women got too much advice about men from other women. And they don't what the fuck they're talking about! It's true! I see this shit in the magazines... "100 Ways to Please Your Man" by Some Lady. Get out of here. Come on, there ain't no hundred ways, that list is four things long: suck my dick, play with my balls, fix me a sandwich and don't talk so damn much".

Yeah, they're comedians, but they're still getting at a fundamental truth there.

blake said...

Nevertheless, combining that with the fact that women initiate between 60% and 80% of the divorces, it makes me wonder why everyone considers marriage to be such a raw deal for men. Sure, if you're happy, it would really suck (to put it mildly) to have divorce forced upon you, but if you're happy and your wife is not, then that's a problem that needs addressing before she's ready to hand you the walking papers.

Ah, but there's a consistent message out there for women since I was too young to care about such things: You can do better. You don't need that man.

I don't suppose men are immune to this, mind you, but women seem to gravitate toward it. My college sweetheart took a women's studies class and when I asked her to get me a glass of water, she demanded to know: "Is it because I'm a woman?"

I must confess it was. A guy wouldn't have been living with me. The minimum criterion for being in that situation was woman-itude.

I remember the talk shows growing up: If a man gained weight, he was a pig and no wonder his woman wasn't interested in him sexually; if a woman gained weight and the man had lost interest, he was a pig and should love her no matter what.

No wonder married women are unhappy: There are entire markets devoted to convincing her of that.

Revenant said...

It also isn't safe to assume that "woman initiate most of the divorces" translates to "women are usually the ones who are unhappy".

Consider a typical family: a husband and wife with kids, where both spouses work and the husband earns more than his wife.

Here's divorce from the man's perspective:
- He loses the kids, who now spend all their time with his bitch of an ex-wife; he gets alternate weekends and some holidays
- He has to pay child support to the aforementioned bitch ex-wife
- He only gets half the shared assets, which given their relative salaries is less than he personally contributed. I.e., he loses stuff he worked for.

Here's divorce from the woman's perspective:
- She gets the kids; her bastard of an ex-husband has to stay away from them most of the time
- She gets to make the son-of-a-bitch pay HER for the privilege of having custody.
- She gets to take some of the son-of-a-bitch's prized possessions that HE worked for.

Gee. Small wonder it is usually the woman who files for divorce. It has nothing to do with the guy being happy in the marriage; it is because divorce heavily favors women.

Jimmy said...

theo,

remember there are good nerds who's afraid to ask YOU out! :)

amba said...

Well, looking at the great figures of western history, one is tempted too say "a man with one wife and one or more mistresses".

Yes! You see (talking not about the ideal but the reality), monogamy traditionally had that safety valve for the male who wasn't cut out for it. (Some are, or are lucky enough to find the woman they never tire of, but probably more aren't.) That way he got the best of both worlds -- the comforts of a long-term relationship without the sexual monotony. And it was tacitly allowed, winked at. More in Catholic than in Protestant cultures, I have the impression.

amba said...

Rev: bad experiences? or just observing other guys' bad experiences and vowing to avoid them? No need to answer that. You just sound like a PTSD case from the war between the sexes.

Revenant said...

Just observation and statistics, Amba. I've never been married or divorced; I quite enjoy being answerable to nobody but myself. :)

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