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If you have to say you’re alpha, you’re probably not that alpha.

17 Mar

One thing that I’ve started noticing on manosphere blogs is commenters seeking advice about their woman situations and prefacing their comments with “I’m pretty alpha (but)…”.

The minute I see that, I know that the following discussion will most likely reveal the commenter to be not-alpha.  Not just because that’s the rule of irony on the internets, but simply because an alpha IS.  Alpha is a state of mind and a state of being.  An alpha doesn’t examine himself and conclude, “Yep, I’ve gone down the checklist and it turns out I’m pretty alpha.”  An alpha just does his thing with the inner confidence that he’s doing what he’s doing and that’s that.  So many guys trying to apply game get caught up in  “it’s alpha to do this but beta to do that,” and that is fundamentally a beta frame to begin with, because a genuine alpha would already be off doing his thing and not worrying about whether or not he was doing alpha stuff or beta stuff.  This isn’t to say that alphas can’t have moments of real self-doubt, and it’s also not to condescend to men who are truly trying to change their courses – but generally speaking, outcome independence is a good brightline test for alpha-dom.

For the purposes of internet discussion – saying you’re alpha before showing you’re alpha is like saying you’re funny before you’ve shown you’re funny.  If you’re really alpha, or really funny, people will get it without you having to tell them first.

Church guys who lack alpha AND beta.

12 Dec

The manosphere usually talks about alpha and beta as an inversely proportional continuum, meaning that if a guy doesn’t have a lot of alpha, he must have a lot of beta, and vice versa.  For most practical intents and purposes, this model works.  Most guys need to tone down the beta traits and up the alpha, and then there are some who need to tone down the alpha in order to reassure their women that they do, in fact, care for them.

But one type of man not commonly talked about is the man who lacks both alpha AND beta.  He’s neither dominant with his wife, but he’s not sweet and cuddly with her, either.  He’s just sort of…there.  Doing his thing.  And being neither romantic nor sexy doing it.

My latest idea is that this alpha-less, beta-less man is the one that a lot of Christian relationship books are written for.  These are usually the books that encourage men to “love” their wives more by doing more and more beta things for them, and the reason for this encouragement of beta is that the authors mistakenly think that being a distant, cold husband is “alpha.”  So they instruct their readers to pour on the beta, and then the advice fails because beta in the absence of alpha isn’t attractive.

What a woman with that kind of man wants is not more flowers and more acts of service, it’s a man who will flirt with her and make her feel attractive.  THEN, once that has been established, he can do the sweet things.  But jumping right into the sweet stuff is NOT the way to go about rectifying a marriage that lacks both alpha and beta.


Even old widowers need game.

13 May

I was talking on the phone with my mom this afternoon, and she told me that there is an older widower at church who is trying to find an older widow to date.  He’s attempting the classic (and futile) church guy game plan of approaching each widow, one by one, until he can find someone who will accept.  All the widows know about this, so that’s a big pre-UNselection minus.  Worse, he has a poor reputation and since he has been in the church for a long time, everyone knows what his problems are.  So that’s even exponentially worse pre-UNselection.

I suggested that this guy find another church, but then again, the evangelical church community in my hometown isn’t so big that word about him still wouldn’t get around.  My mom, knowing that this guy spends part of the year in Florida, suggested that he might have better luck there because nobody would know him.  Ouch.

The other bad thing about old widower game is that the older widower must also compete against the memories of all of the widows’ late husbands – men who married their wives when the wives were very young, were often the women’s first major loves, and who were the fathers of the women’s children.  That can be a really tough act to follow.  Plus, if the first husband did things right financially, the widow will have no economic incentive to remarry, either.

Bottom line:  Game is for all seasons.

Why I subscribe to Game.

5 May

There’s a lot less of Game disparaging now that Jennifer is no longer commenting, but I figured now would be as good a time as any to talk about how I came around to taking the red pill.

I grew up believing the standard churchly evangelinist dogma of men and women being Equal and that dating should be very egalitarian as to who initiates and all that.  (I had read an unfortunate article in a teen magazine that stated that guys LIKE it when they are asked out.)  When I got to college, it didn’t take long for this advice to blow up in my face.  The older I got, the more experiences I had, or my friends had, that ran counter to the prevailing C.W.  Still, this wasn’t enough for me to disembark full stop from the cultural ship, though the thickness of cognitive dissonance was gradually wearing down.

It was when I read that Weekly Standard article, which subsequently led me to seek out Roissy’s blog, that everything clicked.  The more I read, the more a litany of experiences made sense that I previously could never make sense of.

It explained why I had had crushes on the guys I had had crushes on, even though the crushes were hopeless and I knew they were hopeless, yet I couldn’t stop being attracted even though I wanted to.

It explained why I never was attracted to guys that I felt I should be attracted to.

It explained why I never believed girls who claimed until they were blue in the face that they couldn’t stand some guy.  It explained female group behavior.

It explained why on my college campus, a handful of guys went to every single dorm dance.

It explained why it’s futile to try to convince women to walk away from truly bad relationships.

It explained why self-professed ultra-liberal feminists can rationalize away being some guy’s part-time #2 as A-OK.

It explained why I’ve seen so many guys who probably could have a wife/girlfriend at least 1 to 2 SMV points higher, if the guy would just gain a smidgen (more?) alpha attitude.

It explained why so much Christian dating advice is terrible and doesn’t work.

It explains a friend’s current endless choice, self-imposed emotional drama over two guys, neither of whom she can have, yet she has been angsting over her feelings for both of them for years.  It explains why women would prefer to be stuck in an infinite dramatic loop of their own making rather than going out to face “the real world” and get serious about genuinely available options.

I’m not saying that Game is pure Natural Law, but I have yet to come across a theory that better explains the behavior of the sexes.  Since I have red pilled, I’ve seen very few, if any, relationships that can’t be analyzed pretty accurately according to Game.

My feelings about Game can be summed up by this monologue by Meryl Streep from The Devil Wears Prada:

Three must-reads.

31 Mar

If you haven’t read these already, you should!

The Reason Beta Males Pedestalize Women by Heartiste.  If you’ve ever wondered why there are so many guys out there who refuse to take the red pill or just can’t imagine that there are Good Girls who do Bad Things, this post explains it.  It’s the most succinct and clear (not to mention, entertaining) explanation of the origin of white knight dogma that I’ve ever read.  A sample:

So you see, in the final analysis, it is very likely, by dint of the beta male’s ignorance, inexperience and habituated veneration of women and reflexive indulgence of women’s motives, that his view of women is severely constricted, child-like in its naivete. The beta male is not privy to what Tyler Durden famously called the secret society of women. He was never invited, and he was never apprised of the secret society’s goings-on by any woman in his life. He lives in a pinched world with only a peephole to the wonders beyond, given him not by insight but by stumbling into depravity or by the good grace of a sympathetic alpha male. As far as he knows, women don’t have much sex, and they are very nice and polite most of the time.

The beta male pedestalizes women because one, that’s all women have deigned to show him of their sexual inner world, and two, he cannot bear the contrary thought, affirming and cementing as it does his lackluster place on the sexual totem pole.

Women are innately good by Dalrock.  Here Dalrock goes after FOTF’s #1 Mangina Glenn Stanton and Stanton’s book Secure Daughters, Confident Sons: How Parents Guide Their Children into Authentic Masculinity and Femininity.  Anyone who’s been hanging around Haley’s Halo for a while probably knows my opinion of Stanton (read:  I enjoyed Dalrock’s article very much), but Dalrock’s post is just that much more satisfying after reading Roissy’s above post and seeing how Stanton fits that description to a T.  Is it any wonder that Stanton, born and raised to be the best of churchly betas, would find it impossible to believe that even the sweetest, most innocent, most Jesus-loving woman possesses the ability to transform into an unhinged sexual beast given the proper enticement?

Stanton repeatedly pushes the idea that women are genetically programmed to be good, while men are not, and it is the lack of good men (whom no one trained to be good, I guess) that results in women being bad (violating their natural propensities).  Yes, it’s obvious that this makes zero sense.  Dalrock sums it up nicely:

There is a special kind of irony in him lecturing about how good men hold those who do wrong accountable just before he goes on to not hold women accountable for having children out of wedlock, frivolously divorcing, and for choosing cads over dads.

Also stick around to read the comments by deti and van Rooinek.  Good stuff from guys who’ve been in the churchly trenches.

Dating Advice: How to Pick Your Right Girl by Art of Manliness.  Brett McKay found a book from 1944 entitled How to Get Along With Girls.  (The Greatest Generation didn’t have the internet or rappers with advice for handling shorties.)  The first chapter of the book is “How to Pick Your Right Girl” and gives a checklist of traits to consider.  The charm is in the old-fashioned language.  The wisdom is timeless.  Among the things a young man contemplating marriage should consider:

  • She is attractive, of course, but is that her chief asset? (Try to imagine her ten years from today.)
  • Could you spend seven consecutive evenings in her company without being bored? (If the answer is affirmative, it is a good sign.)
  • Is she a flirt? Does she make you jealous? (Decide whether you can stand the strain; your jealousy will persist until you grow indifferent.)
  • Does she tell lies? Do you mind?
  • Do you agree on children, or a career, or both? (Better settle this beforehand.)
  • Does she expect you to support her in a definite style? Could you count on her cooperation in hard times? Would she go to work if necessary?

Read the whole article.  I’m sure we can all think of at least a couple people in our lives who would have benefited from having such a list and taking it seriously.

I’m planning on seeing The Hunger Games tonight.  Last year I wrote a post on the book, so if you’re new here and have an interest in the book/movie, there’s something else you can put on your reading list.  Ha!

Jack Dawson game.

5 Jan

In the comments on Dalrock’s post “The one that got away,” which discusses a woman’s penchant for holding on to memories of a previous lover even if married to a man who gives her everything she could ever want, anon66 criticizes the movie Titanic, saying:

This is why I dislike the movie Titanic. At the end of the movie Winslet’s character ends up back on the ship with DiCaprio to which I ask “What about her husband?” Was a very short fling on the doomed ship more important to her than a lifetime of marriage and children.

Commenter vitabenedicta replies:

What’s interesting is that the fiance is an alpha–socially powerful, violent, largely indifferent to her–while her paramour is more of a beta–a sexually timid white knight who dies saving her life. After he dies she marries another man, who also appears to be a beta, but he can’t ever inspire the passion that the first beta did. So the movie isn’t so much about getting “five minutes of alpha” as it is an instruction manual on how betas can succeed with beautiful women. (Basically, target young women who have never been in love before; be different than the men in her usual surroundings; and be an artist. It’s a bit of a tall order.)

I started to write a reply but then realized that it was getting long and detailed enough to merit its own post here.  Since the movie will be re-released in April of this year (with a 3-D conversion, of course) to commemorate the centennial anniversary of the ship’s sinking, let’s take a look at the real alpha/beta dynamics in the film.

For those who are unaware (either having never seen the film, or have forgotten the details, or were too young to see the film when it was released [oblig. THAT MAKES ME FEEL SO OLD UGHHH]), here’s the plot:  Rose DeWitt Bukater is an upper-class 17-year-old Philadelphian engaged to wealthy heir Cal Hockley.  They are traveling with Rose’s mother from Southampton, England, to New York City on the Titanic.  Rose feels trapped because she does not love Cal, and he sees her as a prize possession rather than a person.  On the first evening of the voyage, Rose meets Jack Dawson, a penniless American sketch artist who won his steerage ticket in a game of poker.  He seems interested in her as a person, and she sees an opportunity at a new life.  They fall in love, the iceberg hits the ship, the ship sinks, and Rose survives empowered to live life to the fullest.

This story is framed in a flashback, with Old Rose telling the story to a treasure hunter looking for the diamond necklace that Rose received as a gift from Cal.  At the end of the movie, having now spilled the secret she held so long, Old Rose drifts off into sleep (or death?) and finds herself young and back on the Titanic, where Jack is waiting for her.

It’s still hard for me to believe that the guy who wrote and directed Terminator and Aliens is the same guy who wrote and directed this grade-A chick crack (and the plot description reads like the romance novel that female romance writers all wish they could have written), but there you go.

Going back to the above comments from Dalrock’s, I disagree with vitabenedicta that Cal was alpha and Jack was beta.  In actuality, the reverse is true.  Titanic is actually a testament to inner game and is a celluloid representation of Roissy’s insistence that money and social status alone are not enough to win a woman’s affections.

Jack is more beta on the surface, but he has strong inner game.  It is actually this strong inner game that provides the basis for the emotional through-line of the movie.  When Jack and Rose first meet, Rose is about to commit suicide by jumping off the back of the ship at night.  Jack is able to talk Rose out of suicide using some light negs, nonchalantly reminding her of how cold the water is and how he’s gonna hafta jump in to save her, subtly shifting the power in his favor by insinuating that she’s being silly and emotional.  What he does NOT do is act like what she’s about to do is SRS BSNS.  A lesser man would have acted frightened that Rose would jump.

Jack is also unapologetic about his station in life and sees it as a good thing.  He does not try to seek Rose’s approval (or even make any pledge or attempt to better himself for her).

He is unruffled by Cal’s continued attempts to belittle him and charms all of Rose’s upper-crusty dinner companions. He tells her what to do (“meet me at the clock”) rather than requesting behavior of her. He never panics when the ship begins to sink but remains level-headed and provides guidance to Rose the entire time.  And (SPOILER ALERT) in the end he does what every woman wishes the man she loves would be willing to do for her:  sacrifice his life in order to save hers.

In contrast, Cal, while having an alpha social position, has little inner game and thinks that bullying is a substitute for alpha frame.  He is domineering rather than dominant.  He acts defensively and lets little things bother him, and he spends most of the movie in a petulant mood, being rude to Jack because he can sense Rose’s attraction to him, and paying his #1 minion to spy on Jack and frame him for theft. When he loses his temper with Rose, it’s not one of Roissy’s occasional outbursts to correct bad behavior, it’s a man trying to intimidate because he can sense that he’s losing the woman and intimidation is the only tool he has left in his arsenal.  And once it’s really and finally clear that Rose has chosen Jack for good, Cal completely loses it and picks up a pistol and chases them around the sinking ship shooting at them.  These are not the actions of a man with inner game, who is in control of himself and the situation around him.

(Of course, in case we weren’t able to figure out already that Cal isn’t The One, James Cameron reveals Cal as the ultimate coward, first trying to bribe his way onto one of the lifeboats, and when that doesn’t work, actually picking up a random child and pretending the child is his so he can get onto a lifeboat.  And just to make really, REALLY sure we know that Cal is a loser, we find out that Cal ultimately committed suicide when the stock market crashed in 1929.  Stuff like this is why James Cameron, despite being one of the greatest action directors of all time, and one of the few blockbuster directors who actually writes his own films, will never be considered by tastemakers on par with guys like Christopher Nolan or Peter Jackson.)

In light of the differences between Jack and Cal, and the fundamental truths of Game and female attraction so simply presented, it’s not surprising to see why Titanic became such an international phenomenon.  It worked because the truth of human experience is not bound by culture or nationality. Not that the nice, shiny package of a lavish period drama of class warfare that was also an action movie that was also a disaster pic that was also a “first love” love story that was also Leonardo DiCaprio at his most beautiful and charming didn’t help.  But if more writers were able to access the truths of human existence, I think the box office would be doing a whole lot better.

As for the claim that Rose was some sort of awful woman for meeting Jack in Titanic heaven and not her husband, I think there are a couple of different ways to look at this.  One is that yes, it’s kind of horrible that Rose still carried Jack in her heart, a man she knew for only a few days, rather than the man who was her husband and gave her her children.  But Jack was a first love, and first loves have a way of sticking that later loves can never quite displace.  Isn’t that why manospherians are so much about keeping numbers low?  (And really, how can any man compare with a man who literally talked you off a ledge and saved you from freezing to death in the middle of the North Atlantic ocean while the luxury ship you were sailing on was sinking AND sacrificed himself in the process?  Okay, and also that you had your first orgasm with him in the back of a car.)

The other way to look at this is that having Rose meet Jack in Titanic heaven is really the only way the story could have ended satisfactorily.  The story was about Rose’s emotional emancipation.  Jack was the agent of change.  He was her savior (and Rose even says at the end of the movie that he “saved [her] in every way a person can be saved”).  Having her reunite in death/dream with her late husband (whom we hadn’t even seen), right after she has finally relieved herself of the secret she has been carrying with her since she was a teenager, would have been bizarre.  I can’t imagine anyone would have walked out of the theater rejoicing that Rose showed what a loving and faithful wife she was if THAT had been the ending.

It’ll be interesting to see how the film affects a new generation of movie-goers.  In the age of Twilight, Facebook, and reality TV, will Jack and Rose be able to enchant today’s teens, or will the bulk of moviegoers only be nostalgia-trippers?

If you are hot enough, he will ignore your jackhammery laughter.

2 Oct

Over the weekend I attended the wedding reception of a friend of mine and ended up at a table with the groom’s best friend B and B’s much younger girlfriend G.   My guess is that the age gap was somewhere around 20 or so years.  Intrigued by this real-life example of Game principles, I sat back and observed.

B was pushing 50, tall, with strawberry blond coloring and his age undeniably settling in to his face.  Fortunately for him, genetics had blessed him with a full head of (non-gray) hair.  He seemed confident and outgoing and had solid body language.

G was your typical high-maintenance SoCal Asian:  meticulously styled hair, full makeup and constant reapplication of lip gloss, high-end name brand clothing with, as she pointed out, six-inch heels.  She was objectively quite pretty.  Accordingly, her mannerisms were almost cartoonishly feminine:  continuous laughter, a constant need to touch and be close to her boyfriend, and I’m pretty sure she said zero interesting things the entire time.  I mainly remember her making remarks about makeup, her sister’s plans not to have a destination wedding, and how she gets her boyfriend up early every morning to make him go to yoga class with her.  Oh, and she has a little dog.

The longer I watched G, the more fascinated I became with the exaggerated way she pursed her pillowy lips when she talked.  The way her eyes widened and her mouth opened four inches every time she laughed and remained open.  And the way that laugh resembled a kinder, gentler version of Janice from Friends.

By this point there were about four different Haleys at war with themselves in my head.  Catty Haley was rolling her eyes and shaking her head at G.  Analytical Haley was trying to figure out what was keeping B and G together other than sex.  Cynical Haley was telling Analytical Haley, DUH, NOTHING.  Holy Haley was brusquely chastising Analytical and Cynical, reminding them that G was a perfectly decent and genuinely nice human being, as was B, and trying to imagine scenarios in which B and G had deep, meaningful conversations about the Future, the State of the World, and Interests in Common Other Than Yoga Class.  James Joyce teared up with pride.

While all of this was going on in my head, I had the horrible realization that I was a terrible loser at love compared to G, and there was no starker comparison than that between us.  I contemplated what it would take for me to turn myself into a knock-off version of her, and it gave me mental vertigo.  (I mean, I do pretty well with pervy church geezers, but I attribute my appeal to the novelty of my relative youth and the scarcity of my kind at the geezer-friendly early Sunday service.)  It was all a little bit like being strangled by a live-action version of Roissy’s blog, or discovering that you had gone to war with a spoon in your hand while the other person wielded a bayonet.  I kept asking myself, Is this what I need to be?  Is this what men want?  Because me as I am is not really tearing it up with the opposite sex, non-geezer edition.  Maybe the ratio is 1 glossy-lipped Natalie Portman-esque laugh = 200 witticisms.  Time to read less and stock up on Chanel.

Lest this seem too self-pitying, it should be noted that my friend who got married is more similar to me than to G, so I don’t think hope is dead or anything.  After all, my friend’s husband married my friend, not G (or a G clone).  And G is spending her “good years” with a man who may or may not ever marry her.  In the end it may all be a wash.  Still, I think G will be able to do well for herself (should she need to) even after hitting the wall.  There are always men eager to enjoy a personality like G’s.

So, with that in mind…

Now commencing Operation: Everything Is Funnier.

She freaked out when he did not read her mind.

13 Jul

Boundless put up an article today that further demonstrates why church dating is so difficult.  In “How Not to Freak a Girl Out,” Martha Krienke shares a letter from a reader wherein the reader describes that after knowing a guy for two weeks, he asked her out with Boundless-style intentionality, explaining that he saw her as “marriage material.”  Reader promptly FREAKED OUT and rejected the guy.  Then her hamster went into overdrive, culminating in the letter to Boundless.

I’ll admit that the guy made the mistake of destroying any mystery he may have possessed by laying all of his cards out on the table at the get-go.  He also, I assume, made the mistake of proceeding without enough (any?) IOIs from Reader.

But Reader’s letter to Boundless was so hamsterrific, my eyes boggled, and it speaks to Boundless’s disconnect with the realities of the SMP that Krienke didn’t rebuke Reader.  Reader writes:

I know that Boundless and many circles are beginning to promote guys becoming pursuers and moving purposefully toward marriage. But I’d like to promote that there needs to be more caress, creativity and sensitivity in this area. “Putting the ball in her court” too early may drive a godly lady to emotional turmoil. She may need time to marinate in his light affections and attention before having him express in words his intentions and affections.

The idea that Reader wanted to be wooed rather than told “I’m looking for a wife, and you seem like wife material” – I can understand that.  Especially after only knowing a guy for a couple of weeks and probably not having much one-on-one interaction with him, it probably came off a little like the guy was going shopping and she looked like a good deal.  But then all of Reader’s purple prose about marinating and “emotional turmoil” betrayed entitlement:  that she expected this guy to read her mind and know exactly how she wanted to be pursued.  She continues:

To be poetic, I describe my “feelings and affections” like a flower that grows. We gently, and in good amounts for the specific type of flower, give it water and sunlight. [In relationships], the water and sunlight are the “pursuit/flirting/feeling the water.”  The flower represents the “relationship.” And the growth of the flower represents the “feelings and affections.”  The blooming of the flower represents “commitment.”

I think that for this particular flower, there was too much sunlight and water too early. The flower was not ready to bloom yet. It had not grown enough in the right conditions to be ready to bloom.

Church guys, if you would like to be successful in acquiring a woman who seems like “wife material,” adhere to the above instructions…if she’s not already attracted to you.  What reader is ignoring is that if this guy had already been attractive to her, she wouldn’t be going on about watering, stems, and blooming, or needing to “marinate.”  She would have jumped at the opportunity to go on a date with this guy and would be reading Passion and Purity to try to keep her hormones in check.

The major problem with the Boundless approach to dating is that Boundless doesn’t believe in/hasn’t discovered the alpha/beta divide.  It assumes that all men are starting from the same place and therefore need only apply the same steps to get where they want to go.  But because some men are alphas and even more are betas, a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work, and it only leads to results like the one chronicled by Reader.  Telling men to “man up,” “be intentional,” and “stop jerking girls around” is only useful for alphas.  Telling a beta to man up and be intentional leads to freak-outs and rejections.  By omitting the critical step of gauging female interest (and responding accordingly), Boundless dooms many men to dating failure.

Reader concludes:

I’m hoping that I might have a chance to start over. To get to know each other as brother and sister serving together. To get “pursuitive hints” without being faced with an expression of intentions. To get to grow in my own affections before being asked to commit.

[In my final refusal toward him,] I never actually meant that I didn’t want to be pursued. I guess I just wanted to be pursued in a lighter, slower and building sort of way.

I would say that Reader is in the “neutral” zone with the guy, otherwise she wouldn’t have expressed interest in “get[ting] to know each other as brother and sister serving together.”  Having rejected him, she wants the option of having him back so she won’t feel like she made a big mistake if he turns out to be a catch.  If he were truly repulsive to her, she wouldn’t have wanted to get to know him in any way.  That said, it’s pretty clear that he’s not super attractive to her – a woman invoking brother/sister comparisons, even if it’s brother/sister in Christ, is not a sign of burgeoning attraction.  Overall, Reader’s letter just seems to be a politely-worded complaint that she wasn’t pursued in the desired manner.

Still, Reader’s situation does shed light on the dating situation that most singles will face in the church, mainly because most people are not automatically attractive to vast numbers of the opposite sex.  Most church guys will still need to learn some game and learn to read IOIs.  Boundless keeps neglecting to mention (because it doesn’t distinguish between alphas and betas) that intentionality alone is not enough.  Most church girls will have to accept dates requested in a less than ideal manner, with guys who are not super attractive to them at the time of the asking.  Alas, Mr. Darcy doesn’t go to your church.  Neither does Megan Fox.  But on the upside, you’re probably not Chunk from The Goonies, so take comfort in that silver lining.


Why women are afraid to pump up men’s egos.

2 Jun

The privateman, in his most recent blog entry, wrote,

“It’s remarkable but I wonder how many women resist or completely reject such advice [to make a man feel good] because of feminist, ideological grounds (“it’s wrong to make a man feel good”)  or their own sense of fabulousness causes them to stick their heads in the sand.”

The answer is:  a lot.

The reason that women resist and reject advice to flatter men is basically an issue of power.  You wouldn’t know it from reading manosphere sites, but men, especially if white and educated, get the majority of perks in the world.  They get the best jobs.  They occupy the top of pretty much every occupational field, fields of women’s interests included (fashion, beauty, cooking, media).  They make the most money.  They’re more implicitly trusted in matters of business.  They get to have sex with tons of people and receive very little judgment for it.  They get to marry women young enough to be their daughters and have kids at age 70.  They get to be funny, outrageous, outspoken, and wild, and people just chuckle affectionately.  (Women who are funny, outrageous, outspoken, and wild, on the other hand,  just get called bitches, sluts, and bulldykes.)  They get to do most of the exciting and interesting things in this world, and they tend to think they know everything about everything.  And generally they don’t pay much of a social price for getting fat and dressing dumpy.

Meanwhile, women are expected to be quiet and have babies, always be up for sex, never gain any weight, and never have an opinion that contradicts a man’s.

Given these circumstances, it’s pretty easy to see why a modern woman balks at making a man feel good about himself.  In her mind, he already has the world’s oyster in his palm.  Giving him MORE sex, MORE compliments, and MORE deference is only going to inflate his ego even more than it already is and make him feel even more entitled to the things society has already given him.  And what, exactly, has this man done to earn any of these things other than be born with a penis?  Furthermore, if a woman flatters a man’s ego, he will just take her for granted and feel he has the ability to make unqualified demands as well as the right not to be of any help to the woman.  Women can’t see how treating a man well (i.e., like a ’50s homemaker) for no reason other than that he is a man can result in anything good for themselves.

Additionally, every woman either has a friend or knows somebody who got a boyfriend and then turned into a Stepford wife who has to get permission just to go to the mall, and while she’s there, her boyfriend will be constantly checking in on her and demanding to know all the details of what she’s doing.  And the friend will insist that he’s just doing this because he loves her.  No sane woman wants this to happen to her or be seen as weak and controllable, so that’s another reason that women tend to be resistant to giving men what they want.

Some of this attitude stems from hypergamy.  Women all want the best men for themselves, but women know that those men have options and in many cases have no compunction about straying.  A woman could treat such a man as a king, and she still runs the risk of his cheating.  So in a defensive measure, the woman will do what she thinks will earn her greater respect and shore up her power, which is to deny the man what he wants or thinks he is entitled to.  Then the man won’t feel quite so secure about walking all over her, because now he knows there is a price to pay.

Another reason is the American culture of meritocracy, where we take pride in earning things for ourselves and much American lore is centered around people who Did It Themselves, as opposed to getting something because of who your dad was.  This attitude extends to mating, as well.  It’s hard for women to be taught that everything they know about how the world works apparently doesn’t work in romantic male/female relationships, and it’s not like any major media is out there promoting this, anyway.  (It IS kind of ironic, though, that men who will rail against the evils of affirmative action will be happy to receive affirmative action praise from a woman.)

I can hear the cries rising up from the peanut gallery already, so let me be clear that YES, a lot of this modern female attitude is a response to alpha males and WAH WAH WAH MOST MEN ARE BETAS DOOMED TO LONELY SEXLESS LIVES WHILE ALPHAS HAVE ALL THE FUN WAHHHHH MARRIAGE 2.0 CAROUSEL NO GOOD WOMEN LEFT ON THE ENTIRE PLANET EXCEPT IN THAILAND WAHHHHHH.  But at the same time, women instinctively don’t want to dish out praise and coddling to men they don’t respect.  Sorry, Pushover Pete.**  And sorry, Slob Sam.  A lot of times women see men as overgrown children who seem barely able to take care of themselves.  They live in sties.  They think the Value Menu is cooking.  They would rather turn their underwear inside out than do laundry.  And women think to themselves, “I’m working a full-time job and still living respectably, but I’m supposed to tell this guy how wonderful he is and bring him his slippers?!?”  (Boundless:  “MAN UP!”)  It’s the “people like to help people who can help themselves” meritocratic thinking at work.

So what is the solution?  It’s not castigating women and screeching that everything is their fault.  (See:  Garden of Eden.)  Explanations of the differences between what motivates men and what motivates women are all fine and good, but you can’t undo generations of dogma raised to a level of canonical faith to go bye-bye with a few sarcastic zingers and alpha posturing.  Demonstrating praiseworthy characteristics is the best way to go, especially if done with confidence and good humor.  Greatness is irresistible, so show some greatness and the admiration will come forth naturally.  (If it doesn’t, you might be swimming in a poisoned pond.  Best to look for fresh water in that case.)

**My brother once told me that when a woman tells you you’re the best at something, you’re walking on air for a week.  I goggled at him like he’d just said that 2+2=5 and asked him, “But what if the woman is lying?”  He said that it didn’t matter.  But inside I was repulsed at the idea that a man would so gladly accept unearned praise and that a woman would stoop to giving it just to get her way.

Nature abhors a vacuum.

15 May

I was talking to my parents on the phone today and my mom told me about an experience she’d had that I thought would be relevant to the blog.  While we were on the subject of American Idol, talk turned to Adam Lambert, and my mom asked if she had told me about her fellow election volunteer.  I said no (and wondered what prompted this particular non sequitur).  Well, my mom informed me, I needed to get a load of this lady.

So, apparently there’s another lady who volunteers on election days, too, and my mom has gotten to know her a little in the standard “we’re both stuck here all day so we might as well be friendly” kind of way.  According to my mom, this other woman is probably in her late 40s or early 50s, is married, and has three sons, the youngest of which has now graduated from high school.  I don’t know this woman’s name, so for the purposes of this blog post, I’ll just call her Rhonda.

Anyhow, Rhonda has been very nice and seemed relatively normal until the most recent election, where she showed up dressed like a goth and had a dyed-red streak in her hair.  It turns out that Rhonda is divorcing her husband.  Also, two of her three sons are gay (the middle one is the straight one).  The youngest son dropped out of school and got his GED because he was bullied so much for his flamboyance.

I told my mom that Rhonda was in the throes of a mid-life crisis.  My mom then told me (bringing the discussion full circle) that Rhonda also had a tattoo of Adam Lambert’s autograph.  A couple of years ago, Adam Lambert came to town to perform a concert at a major city festival that Rhonda and her family worked at.  They were able to go backstage and meet Adam, and Rhonda got Adam’s autograph not on a piece of paper but on her body.  The very next day, Rhonda had Adam’s autograph tattooed onto herself.

My question was, Where was the husband in all of this?  What self-respecting man allows his wife to get a (young, gay) male singer’s autograph tattooed onto her body?**  For a middle-aged Midwestern mom, that’s practically adultery.  I couldn’t help but think that either the husband had checked out of the marriage emotionally years ago, or he was fatally unequipped to deal with his wife and children.  Wielding some pimp hand along the way would probably have helped save his marriage.  It would even help him now, if he cared to exercise it.  A woman acting out to the extent that Rhonda is is BEGGING for an alpha to come into her life and show her what’s what.

The whole story made me sad to hear it.  Divorce stories are always sad.  But one thing is clear:  Female nature abhors an alpha vacuum.

**But blah blah blah, a woman is the sole boss of her body, blah!  In this case, NO:  the tattoo is a subconscious FU to her husband’s betaness.