September 15, 2007

Misogyny

Someone recently suggested that I occasionally say misogynistic things, but that's not true. I openly comment on how silly girls are in many ways, but I'm just as rough on males who dress like middle-schoolers. And I definitely have low respect for a lot of the females I observe in my daily life, but again the same is true for most males. So if anything, it's mild misanthropy rather than misogyny.

But there's a subtler point worth making: even if I never brought up male stupidity or expressed disdain for some ridiculous male behavior, merely ragging on girls over and over doesn't constitute misogyny. When girls act slutty, for instance, they have little respect for themselves, and it's hard for me to have respect for them either. As slutty behavior increases, I'll have less respect for the females around me. In the limit, an arbitrary girl from my environment will engage in girl-on-girl kissing in broad daylight just to get some attention, and I'll have lost my respect for the females around me.

It's easy to lose perspective and read misogynstic undertones into a complaint about some feature of a group of women, but not of all women, and perhaps maybe not even of a majority of women. I can't stand how infantilized many American women are, for example, and I could go on about it in harsh detail. That wouldn't be woman-hating but simply an exhortation for them to grow up. And I'm always careful to present the French or Spanish or other first-world group as the foil for Americans, just so it's clear that I'm not wishing for a foot-binding society.

Another thing that rubs me the wrong way is how much American girls tend to focus on their external appearance. Don't get me wrong, it's good that they attend to it, but among those capable of graduating college, there is an obsession with fitness -- not the kind of exercise that would keep you healthy, but the kind that may or may not boost your health, but that certainly makes you look really good when naked. All that time at the gym (or wherever) subtracts time you could spend learning to play the guitar, let's say.

Girls complain that we only value them for their looks, but do they spend a substantial amount of time cultivating a talent? And I don't mean academics -- neither males nor females think it's particularly sexy to tell if a matrix is positive definite or not in one's head. And advancing in one's career also does not qualify as a cultivated talent. It shows determination, but what's worth saying "wow!" about that?

Well, you knew this would all lead back to alluring Iberian singer / guitar-players somehow, didn't you? It turns out that one of the most popular people on YouTube is a Portuguese nightingale, Mia Rose, whose internet fame has landed her a record deal. Just think of how much of YouTube's library consists of attractive, toned girls doing nothing more than shaking their butt in front of the camera, or something similar. If guys really valued only looks, then whichever exhibitionist had the hottest body would quickly be catapulted to top status. You see, guys really do care about more than just the outside -- Mia Rose is definitely a babe, but she never dresses or acts or speaks provocatively, so in a race to the bottom, she'd lose big-time.* Another very popular YouTuber is also an attractive Portuguese chanteuse, Ana Free.

Here's Mia Rose covering "Kiss Me" and "I'm Like a Bird", and Ana Free covering "Sway" and "Time of Your Life". Also, here's a duet of theirs, "Seen Your Face". They're adorable, and they don't have to pander since they're not one-dimensional cuties. That's something I can respect.

* In the chicken-or-egg question about why American girls of said demographic are so obsessed about their appearance, we've already seen that it's not supply meeting the stringent demands of American males. We like Mia Rose better than some sculpted stripper. Perhaps part of the reason lies with the radical feminist message that men are pigs, dogs, scum -- pick your pejorative -- and that we only value women for their looks. Any female who falls for this caricature might well spend a lot more time in the gym, muttering to herself "Yeah, I'd rather be doing something else after 30 minutes of this stuff, but you know how those dogs are." This kind of male-deprecating attitude then starts the vicious cycle that we see.

49 comments:

  1. Perhaps part of the reason lies with the radical feminist message that men are pigs, dogs, scum -- pick your pejorative -- and that we only value women for their looks.

    Hi,
    I started reading your blog last spring when I was still in high school and to tell you the truth, I only began believing this "radical feminist message" when I began reading other evo bio-based blogs in the vein of gnxp & the blogs of the guys who comment there a lot - one thing these bloggers have hammered home over & over again is that looks are far & away the most important thing a woman can cultivate about herself & they are the main determinant of her value to boys, followed closely by her sexual availability. Also, that girls who take sex seriously & are not inclined to jump into it fairly quickly are undesirable at best, and actually trying to "get over" on you at worst.

    I never believed this before - my mother had always taught me that talents like developed musical & artistic abilities, accomplishments like being a Westinghouse student, gifted athlete, or mastering languages, developing a quick wit, etc. were things that made a young woman seem cultivated & attractive to the opposite sex.

    But I have to say this belief was greeted with much ridicule when I suggested them on the blogs I frequent. Curiously, a lot them said my mom must be a feminist because only a feminist would be so deluded as to what men really want in a woman. The time I might spend on the piano, learning French, or making gadgets would best be spent at the gym & or getting implants, as they would lead to far better returns in the dating market (sports can be cool but mainly because of their effect on one's figure).

    It's been quite depressing really. I just started college this month & expect to start dating more frequently now. I'm hoping that your fellow bloggers don't actually represent the attitudes of most guys. But all I know is that I don't want to lose respect for boys or go through life being cynical about them, so I'm going to stop reading these blogs.

    We like Mia Rose better than some sculpted stripper.

    If you have stats on the actual dating preferences on young, single men to back that up, I'd love to see them! For several reasons, I don't think You Tube popularity is a valid measure of that.

    It seems to me that if girls are competing for boys and having a body that looks great naked & a willingness to expose it provides you with an edge in that competition, it's actually quite logical that girls will go in that direction. I mean, girls aren't stupid or suffering from a mass delusion where they spend crazy amounts of time & cash on their appearance for no reason - if a substantial percentage boys reward that behavior, then some girls will engage in it. In order to stay in the running, more girls will join them in a race to the bottom.

    Similarly, guys will exhibit a negative behavior if girls show they'll reward it with their romantic attentions (or stop exhibiting it if enough girls penalize them by rejecting them).

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  2. Oh, about the obsession with fitness - well that has to do with preserving a youthful appearance which is also apparently way more important for women than any talents or internal qualities. Didn't you write a post recently about how once girls hit their mid-twenties their bodies are already going downhill & refer to them as sinking ships?

    I mean, I'm still a teenager and I was cringing when I read that. If most guys think like you, doesn't it make sense for a woman to do as much as possible to keep her body looking as young & tight as it can be for as long as possible (that is, both before marriage to get the guy, and afterwards, to keep him)?

    The dating advice you give guys focuses in more on being interesting, having passion for something, developing talents etc. But as a girl, if I were taking dating advice from this blog, it would definitely be that my looks & youth are my main selling point. Is that incorrect?

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  3. A lot of evo-bio blogs do tend to exaggerate the extent to which looks matters, that's true. What I meant with the rad-fem point is what started this mess we're in. Sociobiology was forbidden territory, so it couldn't have had a wide impact. Rad-fem was very influential, so I think it makes more sense to look there when figuring out chicken vs. egg.

    I don't think current behavior is the best guide to what guys want deep down. They're trapped in the same vicious cycle. If they want to look for a pretty songbird on campus -- probably ain't gonna happen, so why bother dreaming about those kinds of girls?

    Better to shift your preferences to fall in line with what's available. (The way I catch myself looking at blondes now and then, since there are very few Mediterranean girls here).

    But on YouTube, there's a huge variety of pretty girls to look at, so guys are more free to express their fundamental preferences. Mia Rose is very attractive, for sure, but I could easily find 100 girls who are even more stunning.

    Think of it this way: subscribing to a YouTuber is making a long-term commitment of sorts, vs. just searching for a booty-jiggling video when you're bored, never to return. Mia Rose's popularity at least says that she's what guys look for in a long-term mate, if not in a short-term mate.

    When I talk about when females are at their physical peak, it's partly just an observation -- when does that happen? And it's partly an encouragement not to try to look young forever. After awhile, the effort fails and just makes the woman look pitiable. Ageing gracefully is what I'm getting at.

    How to do that? I'd better look it up and see what good, concrete advice is out there, but as a first-draft answer -- just imitate Audrey Hepburn.

    If you get the message that only your looks and youth matter, then I should clarify my points more. I thought it was clear by pointing only to really good-looking classical musicians, singers, etc. I feel nervous posting about attractive scientists since I could conceivably run into them.

    But no -- definitely do not focus exclusively on looks and youth. You're at an age where you don't have to look or act young anyway, it just happens. And think of it this way: spending the shortest time necessary in the gym, and spending the rest of your leisure time improving yourself, acts as a lout-detector.

    Do you really want to invest a guy whose deep-down preference is to pick the bland, sculpted stripper type, vs. the pretty pianist type, as a long-term mate? Guys have vices like all human beings, so short-term is another topic, but if he's given the opportunity to date a dreamy guitar player and passes it up for big boobs, he's got a broken antenna.

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  4. Gnxp seems to draw heavily from the nerd demographic in its comments, so I'd be especially skeptical in using it as a basis for determining what men want in women. In my experience, looks are important, but not necessarily that important.

    Nerds seem to way exaggerate the importance of looks. I'm not sure exactly why, but it's probably due to their lack of success with women.

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  5. That's sort of right, but lots of other groups don't do well with women and yet don't exaggerate things.

    Nerds are systemizers -- there need to be a few simple rules from which everything else can be derived. So they may pick the trait that they score lowly on and say, "Ah, X is all women care about, what a bunch of scum-loving degenerates."

    Or if they're feeling pro-active, they exaggerate the one trait that is within their reach: "Women only care about money, which is good, since I can get rich." Again, comedians, rockstars, pretty boys, jocks, all sorts of other non-rich people do well, even when not famous, but this complexity just distracts him from his mission.

    A predictable side-effect is that he'll view most women as gold-diggers, shallow, etc., and lose respect for them.

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  6. "It seems to me that if girls are competing for boys and having a body that looks great naked & a willingness to expose it provides you with an edge in that competition, it's actually quite logical that girls will go in that direction. I mean, girls aren't stupid or suffering from a mass delusion where they spend crazy amounts of time & cash on their appearance for no reason - if a substantial percentage boys reward that behavior, then some girls will engage in it. In order to stay in the running, more girls will join them in a race to the bottom."

    Allow me an opportunity to think out loud.

    Appearances matter. Attraction is like an electromagnet.

    The Set-Up:

    A girls looks, to a guy, are like a trigger on an electromagnet. (Girl's have other triggers, such as the leader-of-men trigger. Girls are less concerned with looks than guys are. Guys are less concerned with social dominance than girls are). Plot a girl's looks on a scale from 5 to 10. At a score of 6 a guy gets switched on - becomes magnetized. As the score moves from 6 to 10 the magnetic attraction increases.

    The Twist:

    Now consider that there are two kinds of guys: "players" and "stayers"*. Players are interested in a bed companion. Stayers are interested in a life companion.

    As a girl's looks move from 6 to 10, her options increase - more guys are interested in her. However, as the line of potential suitors lining up in front of her increases, each additional guy in the line is more and more likely to be a player rather than a stayer.

    Consider two girls, Alice and Beth. Alice is a 6, she has 5 suitors in front of her. Beth is a 7, she has 10. Each suitor in Alice's line (1 through 5) has a 70% chance of being a player. Like Alice, the first five suitors in Beth's line have a 70% chance of being players. But the sixth suitor in Beth's line has a 72% chance of being a player. The seventh in line has a 74% chance of being one. And so one.

    Conclusions:

    1. Appearances matter, they increase a girl's opportunities. But to a girl who is interested in a long term relationship (i.e., one where the guy will stick around and help to raise their kid) those increases in opportunities come at the expense of diminishing utility. (To a girl who is only interested in finding a talented bed companion, this is not a problem). Spending all of your time and energy on increasing your appearance would come at the cost of cultivating skills that would come in handy during a long-term relationship.

    2. Make sure you are at least a 6.

    *This is an oversimplification. Most guys are both players and stayers. These two reproductive strategies co-exist, uneasily, in most guys (as they do in most girls). The guys with a high P-to-S ratio are "players". The guys with a low P-to-S ratio are "stayers". For most guys, the P-to-S ratio declines with age. At a certain age, most guys eventually become "marriage ready". Counter-intuitively, the greater the education level, the longer it takes until that tipping point occurs.

    PS: Sorry for the nerd-speak.

    PPS: I, for one, hope you don't leave the evo-bio scene for good. If there is one thing that evo-bio teaches us, it is that guys and girls think differently. The field of evo-bio thought tends to be a bit male heavy at the moment. Your contribution is valuable.

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  7. lots of other groups don't do well with women and yet don't exaggerate things

    Oh, I don't know ... are there really any other groups which do as poorly with chix as nerds do? I certainly can't think of any. Maybe if you considered, for example, "fat bald men" as a cohesive group, but giving them a group identification is really stretching things. Not to mention the fact that most fat bald guys I've known have managed to find women.

    No, I really believe nerds are a breed apart, when it comes to being failures in the romance department.

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  8. I don't know what their name is, but the bitter, angry loners who work in used book stores or become lifelong activists for bizarre causes -- they do way worse.

    There may be some overlap w/ nerds, but they're not necessarily that smart or well educated.

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  9. I don't know what their name is, but the bitter, angry loners who work in used book stores or become lifelong activists for bizarre causes -- they do way worse.
    There may be some overlap w/ nerds, but they're not necessarily that smart or well educated.


    I would include them as nerds, though your definition may vary. For the most part I define nerds in terms of introversion and poor social skills rather than in terms of intelligence and education. That may not be the usual definition, however.

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  10. agnostic: Blondes? You? Blasphemy!

    eva: Listen to your mom and agnostic. They know of which they speak.

    I think I ran into you on that blog where the blogger posted pictures of Forbes 500 guys with their wives. The wives were interesting and talented in many ways but physically average-looking or just somewhat pretty and maybe just 1-2 years younger than their husbands. All the evopsych commenters couldn't figure out why all these men with so many options weren't married to supermodels.

    They were completely ignoring the reality that many factors go into a man's choice of a long-term partner and into what men find attractive about women besides their appearance.

    This is especially the case for a woman that a man meets and sees regularly at places like work or school (as opposed to spotting her across the room at a bar - there looks will rule) and so has the opportunity to get to know her over time and appreciate things about her that aren't immediately obvious just by looking at her.

    Things like charm, wit,smarts,talents,grace and being a gifted conversationalist can take you a long way and heighten a woman's appeal considerably.

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  11. I feel like the "men are dogs" thing or the idea that without rules (& w/o the influence of women) men are prone to piggish behavior & liable to go all "Lord of the Flies" came way before feminism. "Boys will be boys" often said after boys have done something gross or violent has always been a common expression, hasn't it?

    It's just that before girls were supposed to civilize that out of them and boys were not supposed to be vulgar or act or speak coarsely in mixed company. I think what feminism did was help to throw out those two ideas, which helped lower expectations of how people should act & helped bring about this current gross-out, raunchy, Girls Gone Wild culture where guys can act like pigs & girls will either egg them on/imitate them to prove....something or if they don't like it, not say anything so they don't sound uptight.

    But anyway, thanks for the advice. You're all right - I think that guys who are my age that get the appeal of this this might be more scarce on the ground but are a much better bet than those who are more into the stripper-porno look & attitude. And if nothing else, those blogs have helped me spot the angry nerds and pickup artists that I want to avoid like the plague.

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  12. Women and men have separate strategies when looking for mates.

    For men, for a short committment, looks predominate and standards are lower. After all, a man can spread his seed with little responsibility, though it helps to spread it to someone with, superficially, high hip to waist ratio and facial structure, indicative of good genes and childbearing ability.

    However, the longer the term, men's standards rise and non-personality factors come in to play. That's because child rearing becomes more of an issue than child bearing. A man, if he will invest time and energy in a woman, wants a woman of quality.

    Women have a different dynamic. If they have a one night stand, it will be from a guy with good genetic value-someone with either physical or social dominance.

    If they get in a relationship, then they look more to resources.

    Anyway, ramblings. Looks matter, but less as committment rises and the need for showing off to others wanes too. If I'm going to committ to a woman, she has to have some basic understanding of interesting things to talk about.

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  13. "I feel like the "men are dogs" thing or the idea that without rules (& w/o the influence of women) men are prone to piggish behavior & liable to go all "Lord of the Flies" came way before feminism."Boys will be boys" often said after boys have done something gross or violent has always been a common expression, hasn't it?"

    That women exert a civilizing influence on men is more than just a feeling. It is also a matter of record. Foundering colonies in Australia and North America took a turn for the better upon the arrival of women. And the wildness of mine towns in the Old West went down as women moved in. Conditions in colonies and towns that did not receive their allotment of the shorter sex until later did not improve until women arrived.

    But women can overdo their moral strenuousness from time to time, which is why some guys are still a little sore at the feminists who forced the integration of their all male clubs.

    "It's just that before girls were supposed to civilize that out of them and boys were not supposed to be vulgar or act or speak coarsely in mixed company. I think what feminism did was help to throw out those two ideas, which helped lower expectations of how people should act & helped bring about this current gross-out, raunchy, Girls Gone Wild culture where guys can act like pigs & girls will either egg them on/imitate them to prove....something or if they don't like it, not say anything so they don't sound uptight."

    If you haven't had a chance already, you might consider looking at Wendy Shalit's "A Return to Modesty". In the end, she winds up advocating the enhancement of a girl's value in the marketplace of relationships through a female cartel (sisterhood?) in defense of modesty. At the moment, the success of this sort of cartel seem remote. Shalit proposed the idea back in 2000 and I don't see many takers ... yet. This sort of cartel would suffer from the endemic defect that compromises all cartels: members defect and drive down prices.

    You could do your bit for modesty (and women in general) through enforcement of "anti-skank" norms among women. Girls have a lot to fear from getting a bad reputation. To a guy, the sort of girl who sleeps around is the sort of girl who will trick him into raising some other guy's child. He would be crazy to invest more than the bare minimum with her. You might also drain demand for skanks by reminding guys that "easy women" are paradoxically also high maintenence. If she will sleep with him, she will sleep with anyone. He will need to do a lot to keep her in his bed.The demand for her easy services is high, if brief.

    "But anyway, thanks for the advice. You're all right - I think that guys who are my age that get the appeal of this this might be more scarce on the ground but are a much better bet than those who are more into the stripper-porno look & attitude. And if nothing else, those blogs have helped me spot the angry nerds and pickup artists that I want to avoid like the plague."

    I second the Audrey Hepburn nomination, and would include Shirley Temple-Black, Grace Kelly, and Jackie O. (Although we could do without Jackie's notorious spending binges. Old Money should be thrifty - that there will be treasure left over to entrust to succeeding generations.)

    A lot of "angry nerds" are actually nice guys who fantasize about developing their Inner Player but lack the social skills to pull it off - which makes the exercise doubly repulsive and leads to ridiculous results like this:

    http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/9aa9642448

    Nerds would do better by playing the strong suit from the hand they have been delt: a long term strategy that includes high parental investment secured by the fidelity that only an endearing social awkwardness can insure.

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  14. Anonymous11:28 AM

    Grace Kelly and Jackie O were not exactly virtuous choir girls in their personal lives. Which is fine. What I like about them is that they managed to keep their sex lives private and live how they wanted to while still presenting an elegant and dignified persona to the public. I don't think girls need to become born again virgins but I don't see why there isn't a middle ground between that and girls gone wild. That's really all I want of our current crop of celebrities and their fans.

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  15. Nerds would do better by playing the strong suit from the hand they have been delt: a long term strategy that includes high parental investment secured by the fidelity that only an endearing social awkwardness can insure.

    Whether or not that strategy would work depends in large part on the ages of the nerds and of the women they seek. A nerd in his 30's may be able to play up the stability and fidelity angles with women of similar age, as past age 30 or so women tend to value those traits. On the other hand, a 22-year-old nerd isn't going to get far by touting his stability and fidelity, as so many women in that age range prefer Bad Boy/Frat Boy types.

    And this isn't to mention the fact that even the 30+ nerd is going to have a very tough time meeting women in the first place. He's probably too introverted or lacking in confidence to approach women, and of course online dating is totally useless because far too many men are chasing far too few women. Unless he can rely on some sort of social networking for introductions, he may never be able to meet a woman with whom he can demonstrate his fidelity and stability :(((

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  16. Anonymous12:45 PM

    I don't think you're a misogynist--you do come off as more of a misanthrope--but what I think can make it seem that way is that you use very gendered language ("skank") to criticise women, and these words are much more venemous in our culture than any words you could use to describe men.

    To your credit, you do seem to have pretty much the same contempt for shallow, promiscuous men as for women, but the words available to you to describe them don't carry nearly the same weight. I guess that's not your fault, in a way, but maybe you should reconsider your incessant use of the word "skank."

    The people who like to talk about how men only care about physical attraciveness, etc., are surely wrong when talking about nearly everyone over the age of 35 or so. But even among young people, they don't seem to grasp that the their evo-bio-derived model of human behavior (bracketing the question of whether it is useful at all) describes statistic tendencies, not every single person alive. Even if 60 percent of twenty-something men care primarily about looks (and I think that number is much too high), it leaves a lot of men who don't, and the evo-bio crowd would dismiss them all as liars.

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  17. My take on why there are blunt and crude names for dissing women, while the ones for dissing men are more high-brow (lout, Lothario, cad, etc.), is based on the needs of smart men.

    Most neat new words are probably coined by smart men -- women are better at verbal stuff on average, but there are more males in the tails. Shakespeare, e.g., coined I don't know how many words and phrases. I don't know if "Yo Momma" is still on MTV, but the really creative disses came from guys more than girls.

    Most men don't need to slander promiscuous females that much -- it's bad (to some, many men don't care), but it's not a direct threat to their well-being. Their neverending competition is other males, and to really diss someone, you want something that makes your contempt clear, but your higher IQ clear as well. That way, you don't even have to call them stupid; it's implied by vocab choice for free.

    There are crude words for guys, but they're all-purpose -- cocksucker, douchebag, asshole, dickwad, shitbag, etc. -- so they don't really work when you're dissing a specific type of guy, like a cad or a troglodyte. They only work as expletives: "Can you believe that cocksucker just cut me off??!!"

    I'll make that my new project: promoting gender equality in cursewords. I'll see what I can come up with, but I'm no Shakespeare.

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  18. Anonymous4:01 PM

    Are you serious? Isn't the more logical explanation for why Lothario doesn't rise to the level of slut or whore is that a promiscuous woman has, in nearly every era, in nearly every society on Earth, always been considered much worse & judged more harshly than a promiscuous man?

    Most men don't need to slander promiscuous females that much -- it's bad (to some, many men don't care), but it's not a direct threat to their well-being.

    This, unfortunately, is quite untrue (on both counts).

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  19. That's one popular folktale, but I don't believe it. Ask a girl who has called her a slut more, or given her a look like "you slut": guys or other girls? It's clear, and it holds for all cursewords. So, the argument proceeds to suggest why females have been manipulated by males to call each other sluts. Again, BS.

    You're arguing for some group-competition of males vs. females, but females fight mostly against one another, and ditto for men. It's a fight among individuals, and it happens that people compete mostly against same-sex people. Girls try to out-pretty other girls, while guys try to out-do each other in sports or something.

    To see this is true, look at the guy case. I've never been called anything crude by a girl (or maybe once -- rare enough that I don't recall), but I've been called plenty of things by guys. Guys call each other fags, geeks, dumb jocks, etc.

    You're right that a promiscuous woman threatens the genetic well-being of a guy who's investing in her, such as a husband, but she doesn't threaten the well-being of the average male. In fact, she offers the possibility of sleeping with him, no strings, bearing his child, and having another man raise it.

    That's why it's mostly females who tar & feather a female as a slut -- the latter could encroach on the average female's territory. How often do men vs. women slander a woman as a homewrecker? Etc.

    Don't people remember high school and college? There was no battle of the sexes -- there was awkwardness between the sexes, but the battle was within the sexes.

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  20. We like Mia Rose better than some sculpted stripper.

    She's pretty, but I'd prefer the sculpted stripper over Mia Rose. Mia Rose just doesn't exude any sexuality for me, but maybe if she had some make up, revealing clothing, high heels, and some acrylic nails, then maybe she would.

    Agnostic, I guess here we are just going to simply have to disagree. You seem to have this interest in cute, demure women (and IMHO, sexless looking women), while I have the taste for "skanks", "whores", and "porn stars" who openly display a sexual appearance. To me, talent really doesn't add to her sexuality nor make her attractive sexually. The only real credits to attractiveness are beauty and the female's ability to orgasm easily and as often as possible. In contrast, her talents, intelligence, and other good traits may play a role in whether I would want her as a *platonic* friend.

    I'll believe that society should allow for a niche where a man can have sex with a highly charged sexual woman, and have a long-term deep, sexless relationship with a female. It would allow for men to have their sexual needs met by women who specialize in sex (or pornography and masturbation), and to have their emotional needs met specialized by women who can focus on fulfilling those needs. The current system where women meet both needs doesn't work and isn't effective, especially for somebody with my tastes in women.

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  21. "maybe you should reconsider your incessant use of the word "skank."

    Are you trying to civilize me? :)

    Good luck!

    "But even among young people, they don't seem to grasp that the their evo-bio-derived model of human behavior (bracketing the question of whether it is useful at all) describes statistic tendencies, not every single person alive. Even if 60 percent of twenty-something men care primarily about looks (and I think that number is much too high), it leaves a lot of men who don't, and the evo-bio crowd would dismiss them all as liars."

    Yes. Preferences are ranked. Not everyone has the same ordered rank of preferences. Only one preference can be primary. Just as not every twenty-something girl puts social dominance first, not every twenty-something guy puts looks first (especially blind guys). :)

    Now ~there's~ an idea for an experiment - or thought experiment - that might reveal non-appearance based mate attraction strategies. Get a bunch of female volunteers. Have their looks assessed by a bunch of guys. Then have the girls interact with a bunch of blind guys. Will the aggregated ranked order of preference of the blind guys match the aggregated ranked order of preference of guys with sight?

    Not likely.

    Likely the art of conversation or emotional stability will score big on the tops of the blind scales.

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  22. "I'll make that my new project: promoting gender equality in cursewords"

    A girl who sleeps around is a slut. A guy who sleeps around is a stud. As you suggest elsewhere, calling a guy out for sleeping around will not work.

    If a head-on approach will not work, maybe a side swipe will do.

    Something like this:

    "Ted hit the clubs last night trolling for an opportunity to make child support payments."

    What is the name for a "player" who hoodwinks himself into making child support payments? A "hump-and-dump-chump"?

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  23. Anonymous1:19 AM

    ...an arbitrary girl from my environment will engage in girl-on-girl kissing in broad daylight

    ...obsessionn with fitness...that certainly makes you look really good when naked.


    --

    dude. what you are complaining about are the *good* attributes of women in america. Let me clear it up:

    sluttiness and tight bodies = good.

    feminazism and confusion re: gender roles = bad.

    A return to a focus on hotness and is a welcome trend. Better that than Naomi Wolf encouraging them to wolf down poundcake because "beauty" is a "myth".

    I mean...who cares whether she plays the guitar as long as she's hot?

    Even you don't. Lela Starr can't play the guitar, but Courtney Love can. Gimme Lela Starr any day.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Anonymous1:25 AM


    I never believed this before - my mother had always taught me that talents... were things that made a young woman seem cultivated & attractive to the opposite sex.


    Hey, just FYI -- the guys on the evo-bio based blogs had their naivete stripped from them many years ago by the inverse process.

    They were told by society and feminists that women wanted "equals". They don't. Women want someone taller, smarter, richer, and more powerful (ideally from their own ethnic group).

    They might *settle* for an equal but yearn for a broad shouldered provider, a man of status who commands the respect of his peers.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Anonymous1:31 AM

    We like Mia Rose better than some sculpted stripper.

    bwahahaha. Who's "we", kemosabe? :)

    First hit on Google for Mia Rose is miarosexxx.com, which discusses her award for "Best Anal Performance".

    Second hit is miarosemusic, who is also pretty hot (http://miarosemusic.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/01/13.thumbnail.jpg).

    The point, though, is that the sexy Mia is preferred to the musical Mia. Beautiful controlled experiment which shows that reality is exactly the inverse of

    "We like Mia Rose better than some sculpted stripper."

    ReplyDelete
  26. Anonymous1:51 AM

    As a girl's looks move from 6 to 10, her options increase - more guys are interested in her. However, as the line of potential suitors lining up in front of her increases, each additional guy in the line is more and more likely to be a player rather than a stayer.

    Two huge objections:

    1. What you omit is that there is also a ranking for men in terms of their desirability to women. A highly ranked guy -- tall, handsome, intelligent, smart, etc. -- is going to be more desirable to women than some average joe.


    2. And thus someone who is a stayer with 8's would be a player with 6's. Playing is a function of opportunity.


    Though experiment: if you had 1000 women willing to have sex with you at the drop of a hat, would you really just randomly decide to commit to one?

    Probably not. If you did, your genetic programming would be atypical.

    Now that though experiment is what it's like for a guy who bounces up to the top of the pyramid. Suddenly the stayer becomes a playa.

    ReplyDelete
  27. The Mia Rose porn site is about a separate person named Mia Rose, not the singer. So it's not a controlled experiment at all, like which Fisher was more cited, or something.

    If the point is that porn has higher internet traffic than able musicians do, well duh. This gets back to short-term vs. long-term preferences, and the fact that really horny people visit the net more than do others.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Hey, just FYI -- the guys on the evo-bio based blogs had their naivete stripped from them many years ago by the inverse process.

    Oh stop whining. For all the evo-bio uproar about gold-digging chicks, the truth is that most women don't bother. Most chicks aren't social climbers looking to marry a millionaire. The typical woman will marry some dude she met at high school or college, or in the town she grew up in, or a co-worker of similar status. Sally Schoolteacher will probably mostly date and marry men who are also teachers. Blue-collar Betty will similarly marry a blue-collar guy. Harvard grad will probably end up with another Ivy Leaguer.

    The average American woman is married by 25 to a man she's been with since her early twenties or before (in other words, they are not waiting around for an alpha to sweep them off their feet and then settling for a beta before their eggs start dying out) to a man much like themselves. She is not out scheming to meet rich suave alphas. That's what happens in soap operas and movies.

    If the women who because of their high status due to their looks, family name/breeding, wealth/income, class, and so on are in an elite group are looking exclusively for equally elite men - so what? You're doing the same thing she is by lusting after women who "outrank" you, which explains the angry nerd's dating problems.

    ReplyDelete
  29. "1. What you omit is that there is also a ranking for men in terms of their desirability to women. A highly ranked guy -- tall, handsome, intelligent, smart, etc. -- is going to be more desirable to women than some average joe."

    Presumably, quantity increases the chances of quality (however defined). For a girl who is ~only~ interested in a talented bed companion (barren women? she-males?), beauty is the way to go. The pickings only get better as s/he graduates from one number to the next. For a girl who suspects she will eventually have and raise children after settling down, the beauty strategy is still a way to go but has diminishing marginal utility (after the initial beauty threshold has been satisfied).

    "2. And thus someone who is a stayer with 8's would be a player with 6's. Playing is a function of opportunity."

    Not clear what is being said here.

    If the proposition is that a guy will play with lower numbers until he hits a girl with a high number and then suddenly stay with her, then Denise Richards (clearly better than a 6) would beg to differ.

    If the proposition is that a guy with an 8 in the hand will bed 6's in the bushes on the side, then he is not really a stayer after all.

    "Though experiment: if you had 1000 women willing to have sex with you at the drop of a hat, would you really just randomly decide to commit to one?"

    Would not pick a girl at random, but would stick with the one picked (unless she cheats).

    But women who are prepared to put out so easily are unlikely wife material.

    ReplyDelete
  30. The average American woman is married by 25 to a man she's been with since her early twenties or before (in other words, they are not waiting around for an alpha to sweep them off their feet and then settling for a beta before their eggs start dying out) to a man much like themselves. She is not out scheming to meet rich suave alphas. That's what happens in soap operas and movies.

    If this were true, we wouldn't be facing such a critical shortage of available women. Sites like match.com wouldn't have far too many men chasing far too many women and nightclubs wouldn't be offering costly "ladies' night" promotions in usually futile attempts to avoid being sausage parties. And there wouldn't be a huge mail order bride industry.

    Given the nearly equal numbers of men and women in the relevant age brackets, the only plausible explantion for the Woman Shortage is the fact that many women are either content with sharing Alphas with other women or are holding out for Alphas.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Sites like match.com wouldn't have far too many men chasing far too many women

    Whoops, I meant far too FEW women.

    ReplyDelete
  32. But women who are prepared to put out so easily are unlikely wife material.

    If you enjoy sex, then a woman who puts out easily makes for a much better wife, and for much better and more sustainable marriage.

    I *want* a slutty wife, not a boring sexless wife.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Anonymous6:44 PM

    That's one popular folktale, but I don't believe it.

    It's popular because it's true. Promiscuous woman=slut, promiscuous man=stud is a cliche because it's true.

    Throughout history and throughout the world, a woman's honor and reputation has rested on her sexual purity and conduct in a way a man's has not and does not. So in effect, a woman's promiscuity was judged way more harshly than a man's. This is why men could never be referred to as "fallen" or "ruined" due to their sexual behavior, or why men's sexual conduct is unlikely to make them the target of an honor killing in parts of the world where this is still common.

    As far as men not slandering promiscuous women - all I can say is that you must hang out with a particularly evolved,liberal/PC or refined group of men because that doesn't reflect my experiences at all. Both men and women slander and disrespect these types of women.

    ReplyDelete
  34. "I *want* a slutty wife."

    If you enjoy sharing your wife with other men, this is the strategy for you.

    ReplyDelete
  35. David Alexander6:48 PM

    If you enjoy sharing your wife with other men, this is the strategy for you.

    It's no so much that I would enjoy sharing her, but it's more along the idea that a woman who sleeps around tends to enjoy sex more than a woman who doesn't. She doesn't allow society's views of "promsicious" women to prevent her from enjoying sex.

    Besides, it really doesn't matter as long as she still has sex with me. Plus, the idea of a wife seems rather silly and antiquated in these modern times.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Anonymous7:19 PM

    If this were true, we wouldn't be facing such a critical shortage of available women.

    According to the census, most American women are in fact married by age 25.3. So most women are not hanging around too long waiting for Prince Charming. Most men are married by age 27.1. By age 35, only about 13.9% of women (and 23.2% of men) have never been married.

    Is this gap really primarily about a shortage of women who are waiting around for alphas? Doubt it - first, women are more likely to be interested in marriage/kids than men + they're on a timetable and so likely pursue it with more zeal. Also, men can get away with marrying later (about 7% of those remain 23% will be married by 44). There's also a higher incidence in men of traits and behavior (for example, criminality, substance abuse, antisocial tendencies) that might make someone less "marriageable".

    This women-are-clinging-to-alphas-so-there's-none-left-for-me thing strikes me a self-pitying Internet meme that's been blown way out of proportion. In the end, most people who want a spouse will find one. This "woman shortage" thing is actually a shortage of high caliber women who are willing to bestow their favors on the socially awkward men who spend the most time railing about this stuff.


    And there wouldn't be a huge mail order bride industry.

    Huge? These marriages make up a miniscule percentage of all marriages in the US. Another Internet meme that's given more significance than it deserves.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Re: the folktale-teller. I did not deny that women are more likely than men to be called crude names for being promiscuous -- indeed, I tried to account for it. That's what the folktale is -- the popular explanation, not the datum to be explained.

    You never give an explanation yourself. You keep using weasel words like "women's promiscuity was judged..." -- hiding who is judging and slandering her. It's not society, since society isn't sentient. It can only be individuals.

    It's clear from everyone's personal experience and evolutionary theory that most accusations of sluttiness will come from other females, not males. ("Most" means greater than half.)

    That is another deep misunderstanding you cannot figure out -- the difference between a 0% vs. 100% scenario, and something where both percents are in between 0 and 100 with one bigger than the other.

    I keep saying things like women are more likely to slander a woman, a woman is more likely to be called a slut by another woman than by a man, etc. Your only retort is that both men and women slander sluts -- no shit. But pile all accusations by sex of accuser, step back, and see which pile is bigger.

    If you have another argument, fine, but I'm deleting anything else from you. I can't stand weasel-words and innumeracy in rejoinders, after the confusion should have already been cleared up in the initial response.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Anonymous1:44 PM

    But pile all accusations by sex of accuser, step back, and see which pile is bigger.

    I assume you have evidence for this statement, which is why you're comfortable stating it as fact. I don't know of a study that rates men's and women's different perceptions of slutty women & how they should be treated, although I'm sure they're out there as this is the kind of stuff academics love to study. If you can cite which one(s) brought you to this position, that would be great. But until I actually have the data, of course I wouldn't authoritatively state which sex has the most contempt for slutty women. That's hardly as self evident as whether men are generally taller than women.

    None of which was the point of my post which was - you can "promote gender equality in cursewords" all you want, but words meant for "male sluts" will never have the sting of those directed at women, because sluttiness in women is universally seen as much worse (by yes, women AND men, with more precise percentages to be determined upon further study)

    ReplyDelete
  39. Anonymous2:21 PM

    The English language is not entirely without words that adversely describe male sluts."Adventurer", "bounder", "lout", "rake", "rogue", "scoundrel", "sleazeball", "worm", and so on. And these are labels that have not been without consequences. A "bounder" is apt to be savagely beaten (or worse) by male members of the girl's family. Abelard famously had his nads whacked off by irate would-be brothers-in-law after poking Eloise. And then there is the phrase "shotgun wedding".

    ReplyDelete
  40. "A meta-analysis of research on sexual attitudes and behaviors by Oliver and Hyde (1993)... found that the double standard of sexual morality — which is central to
    the suppression of female sexuality — was more positively accepted by females than males across all studies they covered... Millhausen and Herold (1999) asked their respondents “Who judges women who have had sex with many partners more harshly?” (p. 363). The answers reflected a strong perception that women enforce the double standard. Only 12% of the women responding to the survey stated that men were the harsher judges, whereas 46% identified women as harsher." (pp 16-17)



    From Roy Baumeister's excellent 'Cultural Suppression of Female Sexuality'. (PDF)

    ReplyDelete
  41. Jason, that makes sense. Slutty women threaten the women that hold out for one guy because that guy can get sex without committment.

    The evidence is in any study that asks how many sexual partners one has had, women ALWAYS answer less than men, even if the study is anonymous.

    The entire suppression of women's sexuality is abolutely absurd. I DON'T think we should go back to an age od modesty and chastity-for that would be a regression towards religious norms of morality.

    I think if the average woman put out more, than all the absurd amount of resources that men spend to getting laid - fancy cars, big houses, dating coaches, steroids, diamond rings, bling - will no longer be wasted.

    People will actually live their lives improving the world and finding genuine happiness rather than vying for social status to increase sexual opportunities. Absurd the way people don't want women to legitimately enjoy themselves in a victimless activity (the same people who drive SUV's and eat meat).

    ReplyDelete
  42. Jason -- thanks for the detective work. It should be as necessary as backing up a claim that men are more likely to find Cindy Crawford beautiful compared to Janet Reno, but when you have folktale-tellers...

    ReplyDelete
  43. Anonymous11:02 AM

    Slutty women threaten the women that hold out for one guy because that guy can get sex without committment.

    By the same reasoning, you could have an outcome where males are discouraged from enforceably committing because that would hinder other guys from obtaining sex. Either way, it's a nasty collective-action problem.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Anonymous12:00 PM

    People will actually live their lives improving the world and finding genuine happiness

    WRONG. The only reliable route to improved life satisfaction is a decrease in hedonism and a corresponding increase in self-restraint and moderation (including sexual modesty). This result is supported by a growing body of psychology research, as well as a huge amount of anecdotal literature dating back to ancient Greece and India.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Anonymous12:41 PM

    I think if the average woman put out more...

    The average woman would put out more if the average man would commit more afterwards. Neither is likely however due to biology.

    ReplyDelete
  46. I just deleted an anon comment that argued against a claim that X is central to Y, by saying that there are aspects of Y that don't involve X.

    Differences in genes are central to differences in height, yet there are aspects of height diffs that don't involve genetic diffs. BFD. Doesn't allow you to call the first claim "hogwash."

    I will continue to delete these aggressively illogical comments. Go somewhere else. (And I'll delete this warning after awhile.)

    ReplyDelete
  47. Anonymous 12:00, I disagree. The most sexually suppressive societies in the world are the most dysfunctional.

    Throughout the history of humanity, men have always strove for the social status to improve opportunities. I don't know what you are referring to of Ancient Greece and India. Both civilizations had innovations when they had more liberal standards than in post-Christian/post Islam society. My theorizing is a what if, anyway.

    Anyway, the level of sluttiness I'm advocating is PARITY between men and women. Can't happen? Gradually, with the assistance of open minded men, possibly. And since we're taking chemicals for everything these days, why not a pill for sexual openness.

    Anon 11:02: yes, it is a collective action problem, but the temptations of committing guys and slutty women working against each other are holding things in balance I suppose.

    Biology is at play here. All I propose is simple: hold your judgement on sexually promiscuous women unless you can absolutely apply the same standards to men. The whole entire sexual prohibition is ridiculous anyway, so just focus on being a good person rather than other people's habits. Easily said, eh? Every time I hear some ditz calling another a slut, I try to call them out on it.

    But unfortunately discussing something intelligent with the average girl is the least likely way to get into her pants. :(
    And I don't apologize for trying to get into her pants. And the girl should really be asking herself what arbitrary notions of morality is making her putting out a bad person.

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  48. Anonymous4:56 PM

    And I don't apologize for trying to get into her pants. And the girl should really be asking herself what arbitrary notions of morality is making her putting out a bad person.

    With all due respect, you shouldn't really be commentingabout sexual openness unless you understand how fem. sexuality actually works. Complaining to a girl about this sort of stuff is a sign of weakness. --anon

    ReplyDelete
  49. Look up "Anti-Slut Defense" in pickup artist lingo. Hey, I can't claim I actually understand everything but it's not too hard to understand that girls worry about their reputations.

    ReplyDelete

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