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August 06, 2008

Malehood in Trouble?

Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

* Judith Wood wants men to stop being so damn sensitive and weepy.

* Is modern man in crisis?

* Dani Katz wants to know why young guys aren't making the first move these days. Hey, youngdudez: Grow a pair, wouldya?



UPDATE: More reactions to (and thoughts prompted by) F. Roger Devlin, by Tyler Cowen and many commenters, and at Figleaf. We had our own Devlin gab-fest back here. Read the latest Devlin essay here.

* Tyler also points out an interesting New Scientist article asserting that most socially-dominent men get no genetic advantage out of being Alphas. Hmm, what will "Game" theory make of that?

* Right Wing News asks three relationship experts to share some advice for the guys. I especially liked this bit: "It's a guy's job to have fun and to show a girl a good time." Quite amazing how clueless many American guys are, isn't it? Guyz: Courtship can -- and should -- be fun.

* And, from the same article, a nice bit from "Game" expert Savoy:

If you are a woman and you are wondering what a guy meant by something he did or said, usually it's the simplest explanation. Women tend to over-complicate men. Women, as a general rule, tend to assume what a guy is doing is related to her, his feelings about her, or his intentions to her more than it actually is.
That's for darned sure. As I sometimes like -- or need -- to say to The Wife, "Honey, I'm doing everything I can not to open up a searching and deep relationship conversation here. All I'm really looking for at the moment is information." Then she gives me this real "disappointed in you" look, of course. It has got to be one of life's biggest disappointments for gals, that men are as simple as they are. posted by Michael at August 6, 2008


Roissy? Any comments?

Posted by: Peter on August 6, 2008 7:41 PM

"Unwanted sexual advances" are in many places and circumstances illegal, or can get you fired. Which means, unless you are a mind reader, that sexual advances are illegal (but only enforced against males, of course).

Posted by: Cassius Cobalt (aka truthseeker) on August 6, 2008 7:50 PM

Dani Katz wants to know why young guys aren't making the first move? Because women today are unattractive, coarse, vulgar, shallow and unappealing. They utterly lack the mystery, the depth, the elusiveness and challenge of say HELEN MIRREN MY GODDESS OH HELEN I LOVE YOU. They are unworthy of being pursued, and their clumsy advances are off-putting instead of thrilling. Porn provides more attractive women, and less complication, if "release" is all a guy is seeking.

And HOLA HEYLA is Dunci Klutz the most boring, shallow, vacant young thing since what's her name in the NYT mag a few months back used thousands of words to describe a life, especially her "love" life, of such stupefying banality that even remembering reading about it makes me want to gouge out whatever parts of my brain contain the awful nullity of her story. Dunci and Sachet and Nicorette exuded all the energy and significance and meaning of a pair of sandals or some water or maybe whatever the space between your fingers is called when you flex them you know like a duck except there's no webbing there so you can't swim like a duck or even quack like one? Man, did I start skipping early in Klutz's "story". Fast forward factor as you call it, Michael? Eighty percent.

Dunci did say one thing worth commenting on though: "I’m still not quite sure what’s going on between the sexes, or where we’re headed". We're not headed anywhere! We're the same people we've always frickin' been! There are some serious changes we're facing around economics and control of reproduction, but the human heart works the same way it always that excrescence she called her threesome or triad or trinity triune triplet thingy demonstrated in its ineluctable progress towards, towards, well, nothing. God. That was excruciating to read.

Women: men do not approach you because they do not want to! You are not attractive to them. We're just not that into you!


Posted by: PatrickH on August 6, 2008 9:06 PM

It's always been tough to be a man.

Now that a number of successive generations have been raised without religious indoctrination, some very basic knowledge has been lost.

God puts us on this earth to test us. We are tested to our limits. The weak and immoral fail. Evil exists. Our souls will be judged by how we respond to this battle between good and evil.

I visited Roissy's site recently and pointed out that the price to be paid for eternal adolescence is to live eternally in fear of the junior high school clique. This is the way that God is currently testing most men. Are you strong enough to stand on your own? Will you be tempted by the moral failings of the majority of women?

I don't care how men are doing in general. I'm watching out for my own soul. If I have to suffer financially or suffer social ridicule for continuing to be a man like my father... well, that's the price I have to pay. I'll pay it willingly.

Sex with a lot of women is great. I've done it. But, if the price for screwing a lot of women is to be the currently fashionable fop, then I'm more than willing to let the women fuck themselves. Besides, there are always a few great women out there who don't want the currently fashionable fop.

If you pay the price for being a man you will find a woman who respects that. She'll take very good care of you.

Posted by: Shouting Thomas on August 6, 2008 9:38 PM

One source of confusion about the "changing state of affairs" is confusing changes in the outside world with changes in oneself.

At the teen dance club I go to twice a week, I see guys approach girls all the time -- constantly, in fact. Same with college kids at '80s night.

The one time I went to an older-aged bar / club, I saw guys hitting on the few pretty young things there too.

Conclusion: there is no change in the world at large but only in the life of Dani Katz, who must be too old or otherwise repulsive to inspire men to approach her anymore.

I skimmed through all six pages of that article in search of data, studies, anything to back up her thesis about guys "these days" -- zip. Just a bunch of anecdotes from her 25-and-over tribe of White People dipshits.

Posted by: agnostic on August 6, 2008 10:08 PM

I'm no prude and I'm certainly not into religion. However, I have to tell you that I think Roissy has got to have the most cynical, mechanistic atitude I have ever encountered with regards to the dating game. I mean, I have enjoyed sex with different women, but the magnitude of Machiavellian gamesmanship that Roissy is into, is happiness even possible living in this fashion?

I have no idea if manhood is in trouble. I've been married for 8 years and, if Roissy's site is indicative of any reality, I don't envy the singles for an instant.

Posted by: kurt9 on August 6, 2008 10:19 PM

I don't comment much anymore, but had to chime in for this one.

Agnostic called it: "there is no change in the world at large but only in the life of Dani Katz, who must be too old or otherwise repulsive to inspire men to approach her anymore."

Here's the link to her pic for proof:

One thing I'll mention is the problem is not that she's old per se, but she looks hard, masculine and like she's been 'round the block. Couple that with an annoying personality and sense of entitlement befitting a much younger woman, and you have the type of woman we all avoid.

To bring it back to what PatrickH was saying, she's no Helen Mirren.

Posted by: Days of Broken Arrows on August 6, 2008 10:26 PM

There's much in the Devlin/Roissy view of the world that surprises me ... I don't doubt that they're describing something that's actually out there, and I suspect that they're both symptomatic of it too .. . Anyway, maybe the biggest surprise for me is the whole Alpha and Beta thing. All guys are either Alphas or Betas, and that seems to be the basic quark-like particles that Devlin/Roissy view of the new world of relationships (and in Devlin's case, thence to power and politics) is based on.

I really can't exaggerate how bizarre and surprising I find this. It just wasn't the case when I was a single guy. A few guys were maybe born winners, and a few guys were maybe born losers. But -- I dunno -- 80% or 90% of guys were basically out there getting dates, moving forward in life (if only a bit), and probably eventually settling down with a girl.

But the Alpha/Beta thing ... Weird. And almost completely new to me. When did it happen? And why?

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on August 6, 2008 10:53 PM

I really can't exaggerate how bizarre and surprising I find this. It just wasn't the case when I was a single guy. A few guys were maybe born winners, and a few guys were maybe born losers. But -- I dunno -- 80% or 90% of guys were basically out there getting dates, moving forward in life (if only a bit), and probably eventually settling down with a girl.
But the Alpha/Beta thing ... Weird. And almost completely new to me. When did it happen? And why?

Well, I strongly suspect that the blogosphere presents a somewhat exaggerated view of things, in real life the Alpha/Beta distinction is nowhere near as prominent as one might believe based on blog reading.

Posted by: Peter on August 6, 2008 11:10 PM

If nothing else, the Guardian knows how to retail self-loathing primped as earnest social concern. One solution to the male irrelevance issue is to stop reading that silly Pommy rag...and stop reading its mad sister, the NYT.

Just quickly buying into the attractive-older-woman thing - this lady gets me where I want to go.

Posted by: Robert Townshend on August 6, 2008 11:11 PM

Robert, your taste in women is impeccable. She's magnificent. And DoBA, right on about Klutz's looks: she's not unattractive as in ugly, but you're right, she's hard, hard, hard, and smug and self-satisfied and entitled and fatuous and empty. I imagine her voice to be particularly grating: flat and nasal, utterly unmusical. I can't help thinking she interrupts all the time, and laughs like a donkey. And speaking as an anti-semite, racist, global warming denier and all-around prick, I can't help thinking when I look at her, "Jewish American Princess! Run! Run for your wallets! She's looking for Daddy! And remember, Daddy always pays!"

As for attractive classical musicians, I love Robert's magnifica, but I always had a weakness for Anne Sophie-Mutter, at least until she changed to her current rather jawboney butch persona. Why, she almost looks like Dana Torres!

Posted by: PatrickH on August 6, 2008 11:53 PM

But Patrick, the Jewish princesses are so steamy...and they can be tamed.

Michael, I think what's happening is the dwindling pool of people not paired up are becoming more and more vicious about snagging the pawltry few pieces of fresh meat left in the pool. Most people are pairing up just fine. There's certainly no lack of (white) babies here in the southwest.

I didn't read the Katz article, but I do think there's a missing irony that all the tough guys spend so much time whining about the lack of decent girls. Come on, women can smell that whiny shit from a mile away, and it's not attractive.

Posted by: Todd Fletcher on August 7, 2008 1:22 AM

"It has got to be one of life's biggest disappointments for gals, that men are as simple as they are."

Nope, Michael, we're used to it.

But I am not used to such nasty disparagment of a journalist's looks! Everyone commenting here should be obliged to post a photo of themself. Then we'll see who has credibility!

Posted by: Sister Wolf on August 7, 2008 1:47 AM

JAPs can definitely be hot. I had a long bachelorhood and for almost decade of it dated nothing but Jewish girls. (Not all of them JAPs, I suppose. And "dating" is 'way too dignified a word for the reality of it, which was largely "stumbling into sex and short relationships with ..." Anyway ...) I was an addict, really. Loved 'em. Smart, sassy, earthy, funny, tough/vulnerable, completely un-shy about claiming sexual pleasure, and with an ease around culture and ideas that many other gals don't have.

But they can be "tamed"? According to T. Fletcher. Really? How? They seemed to me to be the most headstrong people imaginable. Part of what I liked about 'em, of course, but also what made living-a-long-life-with-one seem out of the question. But maybe I'm just not man enough. It's often the case!

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on August 7, 2008 9:19 AM


I share that addiction. Unfortunately I've always lived in places where they are incredibly thin on the ground. One makes do, I suppose.

Posted by: Spike Gomes on August 7, 2008 9:34 AM


This post seems the right one for this.

The death of Alexandr Solzhenitzyn seems to have gone by without remark in this blog. I find this a pretty amazing occurrence in a blog so attentive to writers. Solzhenitzyn, to my thinking, was the greatest writer of the 20th century.

He certainly changed my mind about everything. When I was young, I was one of those people who thought that "communism had just never been properly tried." The problem wasn't the ideology... it was that the wrong people were in charge of it. After I read "One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich" and "Cancer Ward," I had to reassess everything, including my own moral nature.

You've published two posts recently that, to me, touch on the major themes of Solzhenitzyn's work... the eternal battle between good and evil, and the absolute necessity for man to believe in God. This post and the one about children are the ones I'm referring to.

Solzhenitzyn went out of fashion in the West almost as soon as the Soviet Union died. He was a bitter critic of the modern, hip American lifestyle. The left, frankly, hated him. First, he exposed the genocidal realty of the great commie crusade. Then, he condemned the one remaining ideal of the left... the life of hedonism and devotion to self.

In both of your posts, one about the nature of men and the other about our relationship to our children, you've managed to avoid completely any mention that these might be moral issues. It seems to me that you've presented these issues entirely in the context of the non-judgmental lifestyle mindset.

These are moral issues. I sense, when I mention this, that you are assuming that tense, irritated posture I so often encounter in Manhattan and San Francisco if anybody mentions this reality. Hey, why get in the way of the fun, old man? That's the usual message.

I'm surprised you haven't commented on Solzhenitzyn's death. Every other writer in the past 100 years is a minor figure in comparison. On the other hand, I imagine that you don't particularly care for the message.

Posted by: Shouting Thomas on August 7, 2008 9:45 AM

Sister Wolf says that everyone should post a photo of "themself", which shows that she - and by extension, lots of modern women?- doesn't get it. A scan of a paycheck would be more appropriate.

Posted by: Dennis Mangan on August 7, 2008 10:13 AM

I wanna amend PatrickH's comment about older classical music babes, by throwing Linda Eder's name out there. She's almost 50, but still really hot, all six feet of her. Check the "It's Time" CD cover (look it up; link is too long to post).

Anyone ever see the Eroica Trio perform live?

Posted by: Days of Broken Arrows on August 7, 2008 10:46 AM

I'm afraid I won't be posting pics of either my face or bank account balance anytime soon. I can criticize someone's looks, especially if they repeatedly describe themselves as being very good-looking, even beautiful. And besides, it doesn't matter to me what I look like. I have to go out on every date I'll ever go out on. My looks will never change that. If I say I don't like a woman's nose, and some woman responds by saying, "Her nose is just like yours!", I'll just shrug and reply that I don't have to look at my nose, so it doesn't affect my dating decisions.

Besides, Klutz wasn't disparaged for her looks per se, she was disparaged for looking hard and smug and entitled. And she does, Sister, she does. Look at the pic!

As for JAP's, I love them too. My first great love was Bonna (now a feminist mystic activist making trouble in Israel). So intense was my passion for this JAP (JCP strictly speaking, vegetarian/radical wing), that a woman just has to resemble her to make me fall for her. Her voice was (and is, we're still friends) the most musical, expressive voice I've ever heard, and it is a very Jewish voice.

Norman Podhoretz wrote about his youthful assignations with "smoldering-eyed rabbis' daughters" (the daughters had the smoldering eyes, I'm assuming), and man, did I envy him! But there are Bonnas, and there's Dani Katz and her ilk. All the DKs have is the steely will, tungsten spines and avidity for attention, money and status. None of the rest of the appeal.

Posted by: PatrickH on August 7, 2008 11:02 AM

A very strained conclusion from that New Scientist article. Although when a magazine like New Science has an opportunity to tell its presumably beta-skewed readership, "Hey guys! don't worry.. the football players who picked on you in high school have the same sexual opportunities you do!" Plausibility goes out the window.

Regarding the increasing inequality in the dating marketplace, I can't really make a comparison at my tender young age. I can tell you that in my large Canadian University, a small number of men sleep with many women on an ongoing basis while the rest of the guys are near-celibate. Stable monogamous relationships exist, but they are rare. Was this not the case in decades passed?

The main effect of Sexual Revolution of the 60's/70's seems to me to have been a huge increase in the variance of dating outcomes for men. Women, free to pursue casual sex without social opprobrium, all pursue the most desirable men, leaving the rest high and dry. I wonder how much of this was a conscious effort by the eras more "alpha" men?

As an aside, isn't it ironic how the left is so spectacularly concerned with inequality in all its forms (wealth, outcomes, representation in different occupations etc) except for the one metric that is exponentially more important than any of those, the freedom to pursue sex and love with desirable women?

Really enjoying the last few posts on this sort of stuff, keep em coming.


Posted by: Zdeno on August 7, 2008 11:53 AM

"If you pay the price for being a man you will find a woman who respects that. She'll take very good care of you."

ST, I can attest to that. Good one!

Posted by: Charlton Griffin on August 7, 2008 12:04 PM

Zdeno, that doesn't sound that different from campus life as I remember it in the early 1980s, although the hostility between the sexes wasn't as pronounced then as it appears to be now. But one thing was different then (and may be different now): a small number of the men slept with a small number of the women, period. Most of the others looked for a long-term relationship, blundered around a bit, and finally found one, but remained otherwise nearly celibate, male and female alike. Most of the women knew they weren't equal to the kind of bruising that a relationship with an Alpha entailed.


Posted by: alias clio on August 7, 2008 1:22 PM

Malehood is not in trouble. We'll always make up about half the human population.

But manhood, at least in contemporary Western societies, may be up the creek without one of those long, hard, tube-shaped things with the broad head.

Think of manhood as something of a theatrical performance. It requires an audience, one that never sees all the junk piled up backstage.

My belief is that social conventions up to about the middle of last century were designed to present men in the one or two unambiguously masculine roles; and that the same was probably true of women. This is what we mean by "traditional roles," not that people were less complex, but that you never saw more than you were meant to see.

Husbands and wives have always known a more complex truth about each other.

Wives know, for example, that even the manliest men can be moody, whiney bitches. Say it ain't so, Joe!

For their part, husbands know (and appreciate) how tough, smart and kick-ass women really are.

So what has changed today in my view is not human nature but the loss of polite society that allowed people to reveal only the parts of them necessary to get along. Men tipped their hats and said "Yes ma'am." People were called "Mr." and "Mrs." and then by their last names.

Probably the peeping tom ethic of mass media finally killed this for good. We know too much about each other. There can be no withholding, no mystery, so no polite society.

One result: Men are revealed to have emotions and fears, some of them even "irrational." Who knew? Hey, women are canny and tough!

These used to be the secret joys and disappointments of the married. Now everyone knows. So what's the point of courting? What's the point of marriage or parenthood? Why not just hook up randomly?

I don't have an answer. I do know I'm not the first to ask the questions.

Posted by: Matt Mullenix on August 7, 2008 1:32 PM

OK, "tamed" is maybe a bit strong. You won't completely tame them but you can get their devotion. And really, you wouldn't want them all the way tame would you? Still gotta have a little claw there. My wife is pretty much a loon, but never dull.

"Smart, sassy, earthy, funny, tough/vulnerable, completely un-shy about claiming sexual pleasure..."

That really nails it! Especially that last part, such a refreshing change from some of those anemic and neurotic white girls.

Posted by: Todd Fletcher on August 7, 2008 1:55 PM

Some Thoughts:
- A boy playing grab-ass in Junior High now has to deal with the Police possibly being called by a teacher or Principal
- Later on spends, at least, 8 hours per day in an environment where the slightest wrong move can get you fired or sued.
- Still later, understands that marriage may prove to be a prison sentence where he will need to beg his wife and the judge to allow him the privilege of visiting his children 2 days per week.
- In one of the few environments, college, where sexual contact is at least tolerated, you tend to simply hang out with the opposite sex and hook up. No approach necessary.

I hear what Agnostic is saying, but, his sample suffers from selection-bias. The guys that he sees approaching girls are,
1.) Not obese, which makes them part of the minority
2.) Seemingly very interested in approaching girls in the first place (i.e. most athletes and musicians that I knew growing up never, ever, went to club in High School. And these guys were certainly not losers.)

Posted by: Usually Lurking on August 7, 2008 2:16 PM

I'm telling you, all this hand-wringing over how things have changed is due to the media inventing yet another "trend." Beware of trend journalism. It is almost always just an attempt to fill column inches.

Posted by: JV on August 7, 2008 4:01 PM

Patrick H: I imagine her voice to be particularly grating: flat and nasal, utterly unmusical.

Gliding away from the main topics here, but why do people never attend to the quality of their speaking voices when contemplating their attractiveness? When I first met the spousal unit, I don't remember consciously noting the beauty of his voice, but I'm sure his fine mellow baritone was getting to me when I was noticing all the other usual things. He does indeed have a beautiful, manly speaking voice. (Can sing, too.) Listening to women, I often reflect that many would be better off if they'd if they'd lay off spending those billions on cosmetics and clothes and just channel a few dollars toward voice lessons. Maybe it's just me, but ach! some of the nicest people in the world have the most off-puttingly grating speaking voices. For the love of mike, could you at least just lower the volume and modulate the screeching? (Well, expanding the vocabulary beyond "fuck fuck fuckety fuck fuck fuck" might help, too.)

What people do you think have the most beautiful voices? I remember to this day the intoxicating tones of a woman I went to school with, decades ago - Lebanese Arab, in appearance a bit, well, dumpy, a sensible shoes sort of woman. But when she spoke...warm, hollow, resonant wonderfulness. I thought, "ah, if I had your voice, men would be my slaves". Well, alas, I don't have her voice, but I must say that nothing ever appealed to my vanity quite like a compliment on my voice.

Posted by: Moira Breen on August 7, 2008 6:41 PM

Alexandra Stewart, narrator of Chris Marker's "Sans Soleil" (the english version). The most amazing speaking voice ever. No idea what she looks like, don't care.

No question that a voice can and often does ruin a woman's looks (men too I'm sure). It's very important.

Posted by: Todd Fletcher on August 7, 2008 8:09 PM

How true about voices, Moira. But voice education was part of "finishing" a young woman, wasn't it? Gone, gone, gone. A young woman used to strive to become "accomplished", often mastering an art, becoming well-read, learning how to sustain conversation, and of course, how to speak like a "lady". Which is to say in dulcet, preferably lowish, modulated tones. Gone, gone, gone.

Who has beautiful voices? My unrequited love in high school days, and good friend since then whom I mentioned above, Bonna, has a voice of such musicality, such expressiveness, such nuance, that she draws people to her everywhere she goes, men and women both. She can say my name, "Pat" with so many subtleties of tone, pitch and dynamics that she can express anything from fondness to say, the somewhat exasperated wisdom of a woman who has known me for the last 35 years. She is also one of the few people I allow to call me "Pat", the rest having to make do with "Patrick". She is a radical feminist without a cell of hate anywhere in her. And yet, she described her reaction to a group of Ultra-Orthodox Jews (Satmarers, I believe) in Jerusalem setting fires to garbage to protest a gay pride march, this way: "I just couldn't believe they were my people". Soft words, softly spoken, and yet conveying the closest to hatred I've ever heard her speak. Such mastery of tone. The kind of voice that carries through a space without ever rising to a shout. Wonderfully Jewish intonations, too. You could tell she's Jewish simply by hearing her voice on tape. It would take maybe ten words, and you'd know. Sigh. I love her.

Famous people: some actors, of course. Richard Burton as the First Voice in Dylan Thomas's Under Milk Wood:

To begin at the beginning
It is spring moonless night
In the small town starless and bible-black
The cobbled streets silent and
The hunched courtiers-and-rabbits wood
Limping invisible down to
The sloe black. Slow. Black. Crowblack.
Fishing boat-bobbing sea.

But he's a guy. My poet friend Vivian, (not famous yet, alas) has an unpretentiously sophisticated Montreal english voice, low and husky and beautifully rounded. She flattens every man (and woman) into instant attitude of worship every time she opens her (also very beautifully shaped) mouth. Her French is adorable, especially the way she says, "Bye Bye" using the English words but with a French accent, Bi-eh Bi-eh. She once referred to a famous Quebecoise chanteuse song, and I fell even more in love with her than I was at the time:

Bye Bye Mon Cowboy

And my heart was hers. Famous, dammit! Topic, please!

Leonard Nimoy as Mister Spock, especially in a wonderfully intense episode of the show, the Doomsday Machine:

It appears the creature [pause] is pursuing us.

Said in tones of dry, shapely, masculine calm in the face of, well, a Doomsday Machine about a hundred miles long hunting them down. Oh, Nimoy's wonderful Spock voice gave rise to the worst single sentence I ever read. It was in a Star Trek novelization (I know, I'm not getting any sympathy here, but I haven't asked for any, okay?). Spock is saying something as he and others are walking across the surface of a purple-sanded and -gravelled planet:

Spock's voice buttered the crunchy purple landscape.

Ah, the laughter when I read that cleansed my soul of years of sadness. It also gave me regular bowel movements for the next six months!

Paul Scofield. Candace Bergen (I don't care! She can't act, but her voice is great!). Lyle Lovett, singing.

Oh, and me when I'm in the late stages of a cold, when my throat is raw, and my voice is all low and rumbly and rounded and apparently quite yummy to the ladies. I've had several women tell me to go into phone sex, become a gigolo, go into radio, and other things. Some just called it my "panty remover" voice.

I think I'll apprentice myself to Charlton Griffin. See if I can produce that voice at will. Charlton? You taking students?

Posted by: PatrickH on August 7, 2008 9:02 PM

I really can't exaggerate how bizarre and surprising I find this. It just wasn't the case when I was a single guy. A few guys were maybe born winners, and a few guys were maybe born losers. But -- I dunno -- 80% or 90% of guys were basically out there getting dates, moving forward in life (if only a bit), and probably eventually settling down with a girl.

it's unpleasant to think that humans can be categorized by their worth in the one way that matters most -- their attractiveness to the opposite sex -- but there it is.
obviously there isn't a bright line separating alpha from beta male. like most human psychosocial characteristics, it's a continuum, though bottom heavy on the beta side, sliding down ultimately to the lesser omegas (think homeless bums pissing themselves). this is the way darwinian nature intended it -- woman date up, meaning that a few guys at the top get more than theei share while a bunch at the bottom don't contribute to the next generation. men are expendable, and if it weren't so we'd still be swinging from trees. so pick your poison -- evolutionary cruelty, or dystopia?

of those 80 or 90% of guys who were out there getting dates and eventually settling down, were there not variations in the quality (read: beauty) of the women who chose them? what about variation in their numbers of dates? the world isn't some big equalist wet dream. 80% of guys got dates, sure, but the top 10% of those 80% were banging more and better looking women than the the bottom 10% of thoe 80%.

I wonder how much of this was a conscious effort by the eras more "alpha" men?

alpha males have made out like bandits from the sexual revolution. for the average beta, the alpha male-strident lesbian feminist alliance was a disaster. and champagne victory glasses have been clinking ever since.

ps: figleaf has no understanding.

Posted by: roissy on August 7, 2008 11:38 PM

What's wrong with the word "themself", Dennis Mangan? I labored long and hard over that word. Which word would you have preferred?

And PatrickH, when you mention bowel movements, you take your life in your hands, I hope you know that. Look where it led for me, Russian nutcase-wise!

Finally, as a Jew, I'd just like to say...Hahaha, you should hear what we Jews say about you people when we get together at Hanukkah.

Posted by: Sister Wolf on August 8, 2008 12:05 AM

Right at the start of Dani Katz's article she mentions her difficult recovery from a herbal abortion. Herbal teas, herbal shampoos, even herbal cigarettes, all of those make sense ... but herbal abortions?

Posted by: Peter on August 8, 2008 12:37 AM

I think mentioning abortion (or anything too personal) right at the start of any would-be relationship might just be a mood killer.

So maybe Katz's problem isn't her looks, but the "too much information" syndrome, which both men and women are guilty of these days.

I found the Devlin piece fascinating but ultimately limited in its view of people (much like Roissy, sorry to say). Male qualities are viewed differently in subcultures. A BMW means nothing in an African tribe, just as nose rings mean little in the US. Female beauty is a more universally accepted thing, which is one reason women love travel and men don't -- men lose status in faraway places and women often don't.

To bring this home, what impresses Ivy women is sometimes lost on lower class ones. A non-muscular bookish writer type might find himself ignored by the big-haired Camaro-loving girls in high school, but once he goes to college, he'll find women who value brains very interested in him. To a degree, I lived this out. And to a degree, my jock brother lived out the reverse scenario, much to his dismay -- haha.

Posted by: Days of Broken Arrows on August 8, 2008 1:26 AM

evolutionary cruelty, or dystopia

Except that today we have Idiocracy where evolutionary cruelty is distopian.

Posted by: PA on August 8, 2008 6:14 AM

You know, Sister, you resemble my Jewish love Bonna quite a bit. I guess that's why I fell for you.

I would have made a great Jew. I have an excellent memory, high verbal intelligence, and I love to argue. The great tragedy of my life is that I was born into an Irish Catholic family that--incredibly!--was destroyed by (wait for it!) alcoholism. Sigh. I feel guilty about succeeding (even just surviving, actually). If I'd been a Jew, I'd feel guilty about failing, and might have made something of myself. I mean, if you're going to feel guilty, at least do something with your guilt. Be a doctor or a rabbi or something. Man, I would have been a great rabbi.

Until I had an affair with a certain Jewish woman of my congregation and got de-yarmulked (or de-tefillined, I guess). Oh well, if you're going to go down, going down (WITH! WITH!) a Jewish woman is the best way to do it.

Sigh. If I'd been a Jew, I could have been a contender. Instead, I'm just a bum. Could you ever see yourself loving a non-Jewish man?


Posted by: PatrickH on August 8, 2008 10:55 AM

"Female beauty is a more universally accepted thing, which is one reason women love travel and men don't -- men lose status in faraway places and women often don't."

This is very true, DoBA, but I think there's more to it than that. Men also lose status when they travel because they don't "know the ropes" of the local culture; they have to be willing to accept their ignorance and inexperience and guidance from the people around them, and many men, especially "alpha males", aren't good at this.

On the other hand, some men have the kind of self-confidence (or humility) that isn't fazed by strange circumstances or by the fear of looking foolish in front of others, and they do well when they travel.

As for the way men's popularity improves in a college setting: the kind of woman most impressed by a man with intellectual aspirations is the kind who has them herself, but who isn't all that certain of her own ability to fulfill them. I wasn't much drawn to men with overtly intellectual mannerisms, having (in youth) a bottomless faith in my own intelligence. On the other hand, fighting hard to overcome my inner geek-girl, I was always nervous of getting too close to geeky males for fear of catching geekhood again.


Posted by: alias clio on August 8, 2008 11:39 AM

Female beauty is a more universally accepted thing, which is one reason women love travel and men don't -- men lose status in faraway places and women often don't.

i'm not so sure of this. there are forces of attraction working in the opposite direction as well. for instance, the exoticism factor. women are drawn to the mysterious stranger from afar. then there is the american factor. in some regions of the world this is still very valuable male currency.

but assuming this theory is generally true, it may go a ways to explaining why female personal ads nearly always mention to the point of triteness their love of travel. it may be more than a signaling cue. it could also be a filtering mechanism. that is, does the guy interested in her travel as much as she does? if so, it would say that his innate status is high enough that he can afford the risk of losing a bit of status in a foreign land in return for the greater status he'll have back home from the travel experiences he'll have accumulated.

Posted by: roissy on August 8, 2008 12:24 PM

I should have credited the above info about women and travel. But I couldn't find a credit. I think I had read it in Psychology Today or on MSNBC years ago. This has been studied, and if anyone can find the link, please post it.

I've also noticed that women always seem to say they "love to travel" in personals. Radio host Tom Leykis says that's an incomplete sentence, and the rest of it is "...on your dime."

Posted by: Days of Broken Arrows on August 8, 2008 3:25 PM

Interesting point about guys and travel. Guys who thrive "in their element" really are uncomfortable when they're taken out of it, because it's their mastery of that element that defines them. I'm not one of those guys, and maybe that's why I love travel, I don't know. Roissy makes a good point, though, about the social currency of having traveled once you get back. It certainly does help in making conversation and attracting a certain kind of girl.

Still, I can't get over the weight that Roissy and his type put on "banging hot chicks." For one, physical attractiveness has fuck-all to do with how good women (and men, perhaps?) are in bed. In fact, there's an argument to be made for an inverse proportional element there. So I guess it does have something do with it, just not in the way we would like. Also, the fetishistic quality of admiring a woman's physical beauty just doesn't last that long, and the focus on that and nothing else is mighty empty. Silly, even, bordering on Tourette's. "Yes, definitely hot legs, definitely nice tits, yes."

That is not to say I'm against banging hot chicks. But this statement by Roissy:

"80% of guys got dates, sure, but the top 10% of those 80% were banging more and better looking women than the the bottom 10% of thoe 80%."

just makes me sad for him. I mean, so what? Dude, how old are you? In your 30s? Man.

Posted by: JV on August 8, 2008 3:30 PM

JV: physical attractiveness has fuck-all to do with how good women (and men, perhaps?) are in bed. In fact, there's an argument to be made for an inverse proportional element there.

In the immortal words of the tiny but flaming Anthony from Sex and the City: "Ugly sex is hot!"

(And I'm not kidding. Banging hot chicks is often tense and boring all at the same time. Gimme pretty looks and a warm personality any day).

Posted by: PatrickH on August 8, 2008 5:17 PM

Patrick and JV,

You guys are missing the point. It's not that the experience of screwing a hot chick is better, it's that you get to show her off and SAY you screwed her. Hence the terms trophy wife and why Alphas have them.

For some men, it's important always to have the "hottest" woman, the coolest car, etc. And these things are judges not by intrinsic value, but by what the media says is hot that moment.

I come from a family of looks-obsessed status whores, so you'll just have to trust me on this one. Some people reduce all experience to a trendy ski ticket to be worn on their life jackets.

Posted by: Days of Broken Arrows on August 8, 2008 8:49 PM

Point taken, DoBA. But it raises an interesting angle on Roissy's definition of alphaness as being entirely derived from success in scoring hot women. Alphaness isn't then about pleasure in sex at all, is it? It's about getting something to brag about, show off, and be another notch in the belt you'll be waving around in public for the rest of your life.

No wonder there's something depressing about Roissy's philosophy of the sexes. It's detached success in the game from anything the "successful" male feels, and instead places it in the control of others, in their view of the successful male.

Which again casts an odd angle on Roissy's definition. I seem to remember he argued that alphaness is derived from success in scoring women, not from status. But if you're right, then success, and alphaness therefore, come precisely from status rewards, not from anything as subjective and socially invisible as emotional or physical fulfillment.

I think I'd prefer to get real pleasure from ordinary fun-type sex, and leave the posturing to those for whom it's important. I'm just too old for that crap. Worrying about what others think of you is a mug's game. One of the best things about getting older (S Wolf mentioned this in a recent post on her own blog) is that you stop giving a fuck what anybody thinks about you. Goodbye To All That said the novelist. Yep!

Posted by: PatrickH on August 8, 2008 9:51 PM

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