January 5, 2017

Quote by a woman who is 26, marked by me when I was 36, randomly noticed today....

... as I — almost 66 — clear books off my office shelves:

DSC04608

The book is "Women and Love: A Cultural Revolution in Progress (The Hite Report on Love, Passion, and Emotional Violence)," which I bought when it came out in 1987 and kept all these years. How strange to open up to that statement by a young woman imagining herself old and to know that I marked it when I was young and am now the very age that young woman was talking about.

The first Hite Report book "The Hite Report on Female Sexuality," came out in 1976, and I was one of the women surveyed. They were handing those surveys out in New York City, and I got one, filled it out, and sent it in. The survey invited long narrative responses, and I thought I'd written some great stuff. I read the book carefully — it's full of the quotes women wrote — but found none of mine.

50 comments:

AprilApple said...

Cats and cocoa? You'll have to settle for honey wine and a borrowed dog or two.

Rob said...

Imagine if Lazlo had gotten one of the questionnaires.

David Begley said...

Don't move to NH.

Hagar said...

Democrats have sex; Republicans make love.

Meade said...

I remember the Hite Report. Angry radical feminists complaining about sex with men. No wonder they didn't use your response. You were probably all As much as I love kittens, hot cocoa, and cabins in New Hampshire, those things don't even come close to how much I love having sex with a good manly man. If I'm forced to choose between them when I'm sixty-six, I won't be choosing cats, cocoa, or cabins — believe you me.

tcrosse said...

It sounds like Pajama Boy.

Quayle said...

Wow.....OK...uh....Mead!

On your way to scratch in the pea patch and plow in the bean field, are ya?

I mean, with that language I think we all can feel your tractor rumbling by.

mockturtle said...

I've never read The Hite Report but have a friend who, while also living in NYC, was interviewed. Her comments weren't used, either.

mockturtle said...

One thing I've never felt the need to read about is female sexuality. I know about it first-hand.

n.n said...

It sounds like someone who judges others by "the color of their skin". I wonder if her prejudice extends to classes other than men. Perhaps she needs a change of climate and reorientation.

Michael K said...

When my wife and I were having serious problems many years ago, she gave me a book called, "Women Who Love Too Much"

I don't think she expected me to read it but I did and it was her !

I gave her a book called, "Why Men Are the Way They are."

I doubt she read it and we got divorced. We were both very sad about it and stayed friends over the years after she got over the immediate anger.

Recently, we got back together and got married again a month ago.

Both books are still worth while although I think the book about men is probably dated by all the changes in American society that have damaged men.

2016 was a pretty good year for us. The Cubs won the World Series, Trump won the election and we got married again.

Then USC won the Rose Bowl game, so 2017 began well, too.

Bob said...

And old professor of mine once mentioned that he was one of the people surveyed for the first Kinsey Report (whenever that was; 1940s?). Kinsey was originally a zoologist, and this guy was also a zoologist, so maybe Kinsey's sample wasn't really random.

Sydney said...

"The constant undermining of dignity. That's my experience of femininity." - a quote from the paragraph above the one you highlighted. Makes you wonder why any man would choose to become a woman. And yet they do!

Earnest Prole said...

Perimenopausal at age 26.

MikeR said...

"And I decided: I will have my revenge on them! I will write a blog with my long narrative responses - great stuff - and everyone will love it!"
My Life

Danno said...

Meade- tmi! Or is that tms?

Danno said...

Or is that quote projecting?

madAsHell said...

To be a commenter, and to never be on the front page.

In other news.....
we got married again

Congratulations!

Curious George said...

"Michael K said...
When my wife and I were having serious problems many years ago, she gave me a book called, "Women Who Love Too Much"

I don't think she expected me to read it but I did and it was her !

I gave her a book called, "Why Men Are the Way They are."

I doubt she read it and we got divorced. We were both very sad about it and stayed friends over the years after she got over the immediate anger.

Recently, we got back together and got married again a month ago.

Both books are still worth while although I think the book about men is probably dated by all the changes in American society that have damaged men.

2016 was a pretty good year for us. The Cubs won the World Series, Trump won the election and we got married again.

Then USC won the Rose Bowl game, so 2017 began well, too."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v39VIqULPzA


rehajm said...

I'm sure I've met that NH cat lady. Not sure I could select her as distinct from the rest, but I'm sure I've met her.

tcrosse said...

The paragraph after the one you highlighted looks like it was written by Dave Barry, with its use of quotes.

Michael K said...

"maybe Kinsey's sample wasn't really random."

I think Kinsey was later exposed as an oddball and a bit of a fake.

There is even a book accusing him of faking his data.

His first subjects were volunteers from a "marriage course" that he ran at the university. Psychologist Abraham Maslow warned him that most volunteers would be "high dominance". In other words, people who volunteered to talk about their sexuality - especially in the relatively innocent 1940s - would be more unconventional and sexually aggressive than average students. When Kinsey refused to listen, Maslow encouraged his own students to volunteer for Kinsey's survey, and found that over 90% of volunteers were "high dominance", but still Kinsey ignored his advice.

The second group consisted of approximately 1400 prisoners, though he did not record whether a subject was a prisoner, a college student, or whatever. Even more seriously, he did not take a random sample of prisoners but specifically sought out sex offenders, particularly those who committed rarer (and thus more extreme) sexual crimes. He argued that criminals are no different from normal men - they are just the ones unlucky enough to get caught.

Mike Sylwester said...

Michael K at 4:13 PM

I gave her a book called, "Why Men Are the Way They Are."

That's a superb book.

Maya S said...

She just hasn't met the right guy.

Nothing compares to a strong, good man who loves you, plus chemistry. 65, 25, doesn't matter: that there's the gold standard.

Cats? Please.

mockturtle said...

I think Byron rather understood the situation: "Love is, to a man, a thing apart. 'Tis a woman's whole existence."

mccullough said...

I like how Kindle lets you highlight passages. I never highlighted on actual books because it felt like vandalism.

Yancey Ward said...

Ann, so, what did you write in the response? Do you even remember?

Yancey Ward said...

Rob said...

"Imagine if Lazlo had gotten one of the questionnaires."

LOL!!!!

BN said...

"Emotional Violence" seems like a useful phrase for the "extenuating circumstances" phase of the trial.





Earnest Prole said...

Speaking of youthful frigidity, check out Dakota Johnson’s grandmother in Hitchcock’s 1964 film Marnie. Her honeymoon getup is alone worth the price of admission.

Bob Ellison said...

mockturtle, no.

Oso Negro said...

Blogger Meade said...
I remember the Hite Report. Angry radical feminists complaining about sex with men. No wonder they didn't use your response. You were probably all As much as I love kittens, hot cocoa, and cabins in New Hampshire, those things don't even come close to how much I love having sex with a good manly man. If I'm forced to choose between them when I'm sixty-six, I won't be choosing cats, cocoa, or cabins — believe you me.


Someone's feeling frisky.

Oso Negro said...

@Michael K - Congrats on finding your bliss! (again)

Bay Area Guy said...

"Whether and when to have sex with a man is clearly an area of tremendous anxiety and questioning for woman of all ages." (Quote from the book)

I remember 1987 vividly -- and I buy this quote.

Back then, there was a measurable backlash against the "free love" era of the 70s. This is all before Tinder. Some folks resorted to the Personal Ads for dates, which was considered the mark of a loser.

I know it sounds crazy, but in 1987 you had to ask girls out for dates. And, getting laid on the first date was rare. Girls did not want to get pregnant, did not want to have an abortion, did not want a shotgun marriage, and did not want a sexually transmissible disease. But, boys still pushed for sex. Hence, the "anxiety" expressed by the woman in the book. The females had much more to lose, than the males.

Generally, even in college in 1987, if you wanted a lotta sex, you had to commit to a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship, (which meant not straying) and convince the girl to get on the pill.

Admittedly, this was a step away from "saving oneself for marriage" which was slowly fading away. But there wasn't (that I recall) the casual uncommitted sex of today, where many Millenials (ironically) dob't know how to build a warm, worthwhile relationship.

Those are my thoughts, and my best Dr. Ruth impression. .

rebel deuce said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bruce Hayden said...

Recently, we got back together and got married again a month ago.

Congrats and best wishes. And, you are mostly getting out of S. CA too.

tim in vermont said...

I am sure she and her sisters are chopping the wood,plowing the driveway,delivering the heating oil, etc...

Here we are, after millions of years,and we finally figured out that evolution was all a mistake!

Meade said...

"chopping the wood,plowing the driveway,delivering the heating oil"

Such purple prose, Tim! My heavens!!!

mockturtle said...

Bob Ellison cryptically posts: mockturtle, no.

No what?

Ann Althouse said...

We're going to need a lot of "heating oil" up in that New Hampshire cabin.

tcrosse said...

Are "heating oil", "chopping wood" , and "plowing the driveway" some sort of euphemisms for sexual practices, like "tossing the salad" or "packing fudge" ?
I ask out of Fear of Missing Out.

mockturtle said...

My driveway hasn't been plowed in a long time. I chop my own wood, though... ;-)

Jupiter said...

"Does Having Intercourse With A Man "Mean" Anything?"


"No existing artist is expressing anything meaningful through the continued repetition of this dancing that was dated and spent half a century ago."

BN said...

"Does Having Intercourse With A Man "Mean" Anything?"

I don't know. Let's ask the millions of our aborted children.

chickelit said...

AprilApple said...Cats and cocoa? You'll have to settle for honey wine and a borrowed dog or two.

ISWYDT

damikesc said...

It seems the woman in that quote believed that she'd be young and desirable forever. When the desirability ends, a lot of women have a really, really hard time handling guys not constantly trolling them for sex.

One thing I've never felt the need to read about is female sexuality. I know about it first-hand.

Always wondered about women's studies: If a woman fails, does she have to turn in her vagina or something?

Bob Ellison said...

mockturtle, Byron was wrong. Men are the hopeless romantics. Books and songs and real life prove it. Women are mercenaries.

Generalities.

mockturtle said...

Maybe the women you know, Bob. ;-)

What Byron meant was that, in a relationship, the woman is more totally consumed by it while the man is more capable of compartmentalizing it.

I agree that men tend to idealize women more than vice versa.

damikesc said...

Yeah, men tend to idealize women. Women will never appreciate how insanely powerful the sex drive is for men.

But when men get that shit under control, it is easy --- exceedingly so --- to "get" most women.

Bruce Hayden said...

I know it sounds crazy, but in 1987 you had to ask girls out for dates. And, getting laid on the first date was rare. Girls did not want to get pregnant, did not want to have an abortion, did not want a shotgun marriage, and did not want a sexually transmissible disease. But, boys still pushed for sex. Hence, the "anxiety" expressed by the woman in the book. The females had much more to lose, than the males.

Funny thing is that if you look at things somewhat orthogonally, the women seemed to get more and more willing for sex on the first date as they aged. Or, when you first met them at a club. Esp. if they had been married before. And, unfortunately for those left, it was rare to find really good catches in women who hadn't been married before, maybe, 40.

I was in college almost 20 years earlier, and even by then, a lot of the women were going on the pill. The big split seemed to have been sometimes in the 1960s. Part of it I lived through, as we went from limited intervisitation twice a week (I think that I was the first guy to live pretty much full time in the freshman women's dorm), to full intervisitaton between maybe 1968 and 1971 or 1972. When you really could shack up full time. And, by the end there, most of the women I knew were on the pill. Not sleeping around, but just in case something happened.

I think that maybe part of what has happened is that sex has become more of a hook up thing. When everyone is drunk enough Fri. or Sat. night, just text around with members of the (typically) opposite sex, until you find someone free and just as wasted as you are. Still, there are those who do it the old way on campus, and, I think, are happier because of it. The reality is that even if the physical consequences of sex can be equalized, it is much harder to equalize the emotional side, and young women, even today, are regretting sex the next day in the hookup culture. I remember a couple years ago hearing about some young women giving up their virginity to guys, not getting their loyalty, and regretting it. Something that their mothers or older sisters (or sorority sisters) should have warned them about, but apparently didn't.

Generally, even in college in 1987, if you wanted a lotta sex, you had to commit to a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship, (which meant not straying) and convince the girl to get on the pill.

That was the key, even 20 years earlier. Unfortunately, I wasn't fully ready to settle down, so we broke up every month or so for a day or two so I could, well, look around. Looking back, I do wonder how guys survived college without a live-in girlfriend. I wasn't sex starved like most of the guys I knew, who spent their lives dreaming and scheming about it, but also didn't have the emotional and physical costs of marriage. Best of both worlds, but the general assumption all around was that marriage would follow (it didn't for me, but did for a majority of those I knew in a similar situation, and most are still together).