Why has the female sex lost its mind? (cont.)

Following a day’s hiatus, the discussion, “Why has the female sex lost its mind?”, one of the most interesting that VFR has had, continues here in a new entry.

Mark P. writes:

You wrote:

“Yes, Mark’s view is brutally reductive.

“And, by the way, I don’t think Mark will take that as a criticism. It’s what he’s into.”

I will get into this further, but, no, it’s not what I am into—reductionism, that is. I’m not exactly the alpha male type so I tend to lose if this is what people are reduced to. I do prefer to create theories that try to explain the observations, though, even if it means I don’t win. And I prefer to go back to the society of the 1950s and before, To do that however, we need to have a firm understanding of where we are and how we got here.

QR writes:

This discussion reminds me of this:

“Free thongs for drunk teetering women”

Despite the eye-catching title, it’s actually about flip-flops:

“DRUNK women are to be issued with free thongs by British police to stop them falling over in high-heeled shoes. Officers will distribute the footwear outside nightclubs as part of a $70,000 publicly funded scheme to prevent “alcohol-related harm.”

The move has been prompted by fears that women wearing stilettos or similar footwear could twist or sprain an ankle on the way home after a night out.”

Gintas writes:

As the liberal regime gets worse and worse, will all the myriad women who depend on the state as provider and protector stick by it more doggedly, and with complete cluelessness? After reading Laura G.’s comment, the answer may very well be “Yes.” People like that shouldn’t be allowed to vote. To put it in words Devlin used about feminism, the liberal state thrives on its own failures. As families disintegrate and the liberal state takes over the role men once had, and as it keeps failing more and more, women will support it more and more. This fits in well with the marriage gap numbers, where single women are far more likely to vote Democrat than married women. Destroying marriage means more women voting Democrat / leftism.

James N. (whose comment started this thread) writes:

With regard to Kristor’s comment, “Liberals are fascinated with the law; it is their magic incantation, their lever upon reality. They think that if we just pass a law against X, that will solve the problem of X.”

I think, more than the law, liberals are fascinated by words. They like the law because it is a masterpiece painted with words, an alternate reality where, if you can name it, you can claim it.

That’s why they set up phony “research” studies, and then go on and on about how we must do this, or not do that, “because the research shows…”

On the topic of this thread, I think that many liberals think words on a piece of paper have force similar to the blade of a knife. Filing a well-drawn brief or unleashing a superior rhetorical trope gives them an elemental thrill that normal men get from physical action. I suspect, but I don’t know for sure, that women hold this belief more than men do. Some men, as we have seen, do not use words to communicate strong feelings, and when the cage that confines them is made of words only, there is a danger that they will go right to nonverbal communication.

As far as our little town’s murder mystery is concerned, there have been no arrests, and the only fact of public record is that the victim was recently divorced from a man (the father of the five children) she accused of violent acts and threats, accusations which resulted in a restraining order but no criminal charges against the man. This man is, of course, an obvious suspect, but the fact that he has not been arrested has stimulated furious rumor-mongering, which rumors I will not amplify by posting them here. Suffice it to say that when charges are filed against someone, many of the issues we have been discussing here will be regarded as highly salient.

As far as the thoughtless response from Anna S. that we are “blaming the victim” by discussing simple safety behaviors for women, nothing could be further from the truth. “The heat of passion” has always (until the “domestic violence” fad) been a plea in mitigation of first-degree murder. The reason it is (or was) a mitigating factor is because the passions unleashed by sexual jealousy are powerful, produce diminished responsibility temporarily, and, most importantly, are entirely and fully human.

Pouring gasoline on a raging fire is stupid, and can lead to tragedy. Having relationships that result in men fist-fighting over you (if this in fact occurred), or with dangerous and violent men one at a time is also stupid, and can lead to tragedy. This fact cannot be altered by procuring a restraining order or making Violence Against Women a federal crime, anymore than the paper those enactments are written on can put out a gasoline fire.

If I had the time or the talent, I would write a book about the depiction of men on women’s TV shows and in their movies. John Hagan’s unfortunate men, whom he limns so effectively, are copying what they see—that’s how the guys on soap operas behave, that’s how they get laid in the liberal alternate universe. Spend a few minutes watching any major long-running soap opera. The men are beautiful, and they can ACT quite macho. But their dialogue could only come out of the mouths of women. If you heard it in a neutral voice, or read it on a script, you would never imagine the speaker to be a man. Reality is quite a bit more complex.

LA to James N.:

Hey, what do you think about the thread that you started?

James N. replies:

Fantastic! In some ways I regret the news link, since our fruitful speculations have moved beyond the bare bones of the case—there’s a real mother who is dead, there are five real children alone in the world except for each other and suspect #1, and although some of the rumors around town seem to have a solid factual basis, they really don’t belong on the internet. Anyway, thanks for keeping it going.

Terry Morris writes:

I recall the abduction, rape, and murder a few years back of a 12 year old Florida girl walking home from a girlfriend’s house, and the way the media reported it. My question from the beginning was, why was this (12 yr. old) girl walking home alone? Her parents didn’t understand that there are predators lurking about all over the place? But no one in the media that I’m aware of ever asked the question of them, either directly or indirectly, as if it is inappropriate to ask such a question.

Similarly, I saw a report once several years back about a 14 year old boy-vandal who was shot in the back by a black homeowner after the boy (and several others that were with him) shot steel balls, with a “wrist-rocket,” through several windows of the man’s house. The parents of the teen in question wanted the man’s head for killing their son. But no one ever bothered to ask them what their son was doing out with older (driving aged) friends at 4 a.m. vandalizing the homes of racial minorities (as I recall, in this particular instance, the incident was motivated by racial bigotry).

Am I crazy, or are parents wholly neglecting their parental responsibilities in liberal dominated society, with not the slightest hint that they are to blame in any way, shape, or form, for the fates of their children when things go bad?

Here’s one for you that I was involved in first hand.

A couple of years ago, while driving my son’s pickup through our local town at 11:00 p.m., I was stopped for speeding (according to the officer I was going about 7 or 8 mph over the posted speed limit) by an unpaid sheriff’s deputy. When I protested his stopping me—at 11:00 p.m. in the business section of town—his reply to me (and I kid you not!) was that he’s seen 7 and 8 yr. old children walking that street at 11:00 at night, and that I was a danger to those children. My answer to him was that “If what you say is true, I think their parents are the real danger to those children,” and that “It is sad beyond belief that you would say something like that to me, implying that the decent common citizens of this community are more dangerous to the safety of those children than are their neglectful parents.” Anyway, this officer had apparently received so many complaints (I personally did not file a complaint against him, but nor did I sign the citizen’s petition to have him reinstated, which ultimately failed) from local residents that his status was eventually revoked by the sheriff’s office.

Terry Morris writes:

Kristor wrote:

“No man would let another man who manifested the items on Laura G.’s list into his house with his daughter or wife. Or his dog. Even men who do all the things on that list would not let such men into their houses. Which is yet another argument for the nuclear family.”

Amen, and amen!

I think the concept can be taken even further: No real man that I personally know of would allow his wife or his daughter, or both, to trapse about all over God’s creation without his being there with them as a deterrence to would-be predators. But I guess that’s a subject for a whole ‘nother discussion. I do personally know a lot of men who do this, and I look on them with absolute astonishment.

James P. writes:

Richard P. said,

During the height of the PC reign of terror of the mid-1990s I was part of a conversation about a news story. A woman had left a bar intoxicated around 1:00 a.m. and was later found raped and murdered. One of the men in the conversation asked “What was she doing walking around drunk by herself at one in the morning?” He was immediately set upon by every woman in the group with pointed questions like “Are you saying she asked for it?” or “Are you saying she deserved it?.” This was followed by “Women should be able to go anywhere they like without being attacked”—a point that manages to be both obvious and unrealistic at once.

This reminds me of this thread and this thread in The Iconoclast, in which ostensibly conservative Esmerelda Weatherwax, Mary Jackson, and Rebecca Bynum furiously rejected Heather Mac Donald’s advice on how to avoid so-called campus rape (“don’t get into bed with a guy when you are very drunk, don’t take off your clothes, don’t get involved in oral sex, and so on”) and argued that women have no responsibility whatsoever to avoid situations that increase the likelihood of them being attacked, e.g. getting into a car with four strange Saudi men. They insisted that it is “normal” for a woman to believe she is entitled to go anywhere, with anyone, and behave however she likes without being beaten, robbed, or raped. Frankly their mentality simply seemed insane to me. [LA replies: It’s hard to believe that Rebecca Bynum was on board with the hopeless feminist idiot Mary Jackson.]

Erin H. writes:

I am a daily reader of your blog as I find your ideas helpful in reforming my views which are much confused from a life lived in a Christian community in which no substantive reasons for positions were given, just that the views, which I am now able to name as utilitarian, were “conservative” and thus clearly right.

You asked a question in the entry regarding females having lost their minds as to where the idea originated of female sexual innocence. I wonder if it’s part of the chivalric ideal, which in my opinion seeks to call goodness from humanity. Just as no man in his purely natural state will become Galahad, so no female in her natural state is sexually innocent, but chivalry is an attainable goal for males who are taught to value it, and chastity is an attainable goal for females who are taught to value it. Perhaps this is hopelessly simplistic, but I think the phenomenon you describe in this entry is an example of both sexes reverting to their lowest form from the absence of a challenge or expectation toward goodness. I wonder if most of these women even know any men who don’t behave this way.

Thank you for your time.

LA replies:

I think that’s very well stated. Our mainstream culture has virtually rejected all ideals that are not related to egalitarianism and welfarism. Chivalry and chastity have nothing to do with equality and welfarism; they are higher values, and thus quintessentially traditionalist values. Modern society has no use for them. Modern people are thus given no inspiring reason to rise above their baser selves, only utilitarian reasons for doing so. And if the atheist “conservative” Heather Mac Donald has her way, any vestigial inspiring ideals that are still available to people in our society will be systematically removed, because, according to Mac Donald, scientific, utilitarian reason is the fully sufficient basis for organizing human life.

This is what Mac Donald calls conservatism.

Kevin V. writes:

One more quick note on this excellent post.

One of the key moments in my transformation from leftist to the right was a TV movie, the name of which I can’t remember. The story was about a brutal home invasion and rape, with two gunmen holding the husband at gunpoint while they took turns raping the wife. The gunmen hear noises outside and suspecting the police, they run, leaving the couple alive. Later in the movie, the main characters are noting and trying to explain the wife’s seething anger, linking it to the larger reality of women’s’ just anger against rape, against men’s sexual violence.

Or so we were supposed to think.

At the end of the movie, the husband is expressing to the main characters his relief that they survived and the wife snaps. “YOU SHOULD HAVE DIED!!” She screamed at her husband. Once let loose, her anger built to a fury. “I’m your wife, you were supposed to protect me, you were supposed to die before letting what happened to me happen.”

And, right at that moment, all the crap I’d learned for years about equality of the sexes melted away, as my head, and my heart, in unison said: Yes, he should have died.

Mark P. writes:

Ok, where to begin?

Laura W. wrote:

“Mark is going to have a very hard time backing up this assertion [powerlessness of women] if he’s relying on historical and archaeological evidence rather than Darwinian simplification. The record extending back into earliest human history shows fertility cults, revering the native power of women and maternity itself. As soon as grave markers to individuals show up in later history, there is abundant evidence of the hold of women over men, both as mothers and wives.”

What the archeological and historical record reveal is that women certainly were more respected and had more power over men in those spheres where women were assigned to hold sway. Just as traditional societies divided themselves into merchants, scribes, warriors, rulers, scholars, priests, etc., so did the sexes divide into their respective roles. Women would, of course, be revered as maternal over men because only women can have children and they certainly would have some hold over men by virtue of raising men’s children.

Feminism changed all that by moving women into traditional male roles. When they were found wanting (in numbers or performance) the state stepped in to anoint them with privileges. Today, women have favoritism in the workplace and complete control over the household. In other words, from powerlessness when competing head-to-head to the granting of powers never seen before.

I don’t see how any of Laura’s examples refute that.

Laura W.wrote:

“I say the psychology of women and their attraction to such men is complicated and Mark says, No, it’s not complicated. Women are brutes who are attracted to raw strength because it’s an erotic come-on and that attraction is inextricably built into their nature by evolution.”

I callz it as I seez it. And, it’s not inextricably built in. Civilization for thousands of years has dampened this instinct. But it is there and, when civilization weakens, the instinct re-asserts itself. Look at the murder victims on VFR, like the St. Guillen girl. This is a very pretty girl who would have no problem getting all sorts of attention at a bar. Look who she chose to go home with. Look at how often the pattern of pretty girl with thug repeats itself. You don’t see the same kind of girl with a nerd from the “Star Trek” convention, do you?

And why the back-handed assault on evolution? VFR readers do accept the more limited case of selective pressure on existing populations than the much broader case of Darwinism. All I am saying is that this womanly instinct probably evolved from the default position of the “family” consisting of mother’s and children while men were largely transient. It’s a perfectly reasonable explanation and it should not trigger the usual criticism of reductionism.

Now, Laura, this may not apply to how you see men, but you may not be a young bar bunny either.

Laura W. wrote:

“It often contains what is referred to as, in despicable non-Darwinian terms, human love. Why is that so inconceivable? Aren’t men attracted to women because they’re pretty? Isn’t this attraction clearly out of base evolutionary motives (pretty women suggest fertility)?”

Of course, women do love their brutish, aggressive, tough, high-testosterone, alpha-male bad boys. Also, I am applying an evolutionary dynamic in a very limited case. Furthermore, nothing here changes the underlying observation.

No, we’re not animals, but we have many, many layers. Different conditions will either add-on or peel-away those layers.

Aaron S. wrote:

“If one looks closely, however, the implication is that mankind and civilization are opposites, or perhaps even that there is something unnatural about civilization.”

I make no distinction between civilization and mankind. I distinguish between civilization and no civilization. Civilization is perfectly natural. So is the primitive, pre-civilized world that housed most of humanity. I prefer the former.

Aaron S wrote:

“Mark would have it that this is not complicated at all. True only if we speak of natural in the sense of meaning original or perfectly uncultivated, and in parallel, of the women in question as perfectly depraved. Thus, Mark’s analysis speaks to the barest physical aspects of male and female existence, and is for that reason incomplete.”

No, “natural” is simply that which exists. Primitivism exists and civilization exists. Both are natural. In this period of civilizational decay, the purely physical aspect of male and female existence is re-asserting itself. Men are trying to sleep with as many women as possible and women are choosing the most sexually exciting men they can get. Marriage is, and children are, being put off to later and later years so that each parents can maximize their thrill-seeking at younger ages. I am trying to explain why this trend exists, not prove that it is right or good (it’s neither).

Aaron S. wrote:

“But it’s ultimately because we possess the ability to analyze these issues in a non-reductive sense that we’re able to see abused women and abusive men in terms of sick behavior, as you say.”

But “sick behavior” does not tell us anything (although I would agree with it.) It’s like evolution’s “little steps.”

Kristor wrote:

“Dangerous men are undeniably attractive; but reliability is attractive, in some ways, too.”

A woman’s ideal man is the one who is dangerous and reliable. The vampire turned into a dear lover; the tamed rogue, etc. Reliable is attractive, yes, but reliability is also readily available. There are far more reliable men than dangerous ones. Women calculate, therefore, that they can get the reliable ones any time they want. That is why women spend their 20’s sleeping around with the dangerous men while getting married in their 30’s when their physical attractiveness is on the decline. Heck, they will even continue sleeping with dangerous men on the sly and stick the reliable men with their bastard offspring.

Sorry, Kristor, the reliable man’s market value is exceedingly low.

Kristor wrote:

“The ideal man is honest, responsible, intelligent, knowledgeable, hardworking, and courteous—and also, fit, physically courageous, handy, resourceful in a jam, and obviously capable of lethality if he needs to be. Like Odysseus, Natty Bumpo, Lancelot.”

Uh … let’s see: one was a king who slaughtered his wife’s suitors; one was a warrior raised by native Americans; and one was ballsy enough to sleep with a king’s wife. Of course women love these guys … their alpha male bad boys!!

Kristor wrote:

“It’s tempting to think that before civilization it was every man for himself, nature red in tooth and claw. But stone-age cultures have extremely complex social and moral codes, often ruthlessly enforced.”

Of course. Alpha male bad boys are a smaller percentage of the population. Human beings are very effective tool makers. The spear used to, say, bring down a mastodon was very good at bringing down an alpha male. The subsequent experience of threat and bloodshed creates a new set of rules that lays the groundwork for civilization … like monogamous marriage.

John Hagan wrote:

“Men of the West, white males, are by and large sniveling lickspittles who are standing by as we speak allowing their culture, their very existence to vanish into the mists of history.”

Most white men have been betrayed by the few alpha males that run the country: Bill Clinton, George Bush, John Edwards, Barack Obama, various honchos in business and entertainment.

The spears have yet to fall upon such traitors.

John Hagan wrote:

“What I mean by physical presence is that they are willing to extend themselves in any, and every direction to see that such a society is habitable now, and in the future for their family.”

The problem is that most men do not have families. They will not extend themselves for the sake of random women, with their vampire lovers and their bastard children. For a very large percentage of men, their stake in society is very small. You cannot rely on those men.

Laura G. wrote:

“It is a fact that this is a social experiment which no previous society known to mankind has ever before attempted. It remains to be seen if it is a successful experiment. The demographic meltdown of the populations of all Western countries suggests that it is not a successful model for the relations between the sexes, and looks more and more to be a failure of a social model. This failure is likely to be fatal to our societies.”

But, Laura, mankind has attempted it … in the Stone-Age, as the family unit composed primarily of mother and child. It the society of the black ghetto or Africa. That’s what makes it amazing. We’re not trying something new. We’re reverting to that which we’ve worked thousands of years to get away from.

[end of Mark P.’s immensely long comment]

Dana writes:

I seem to be the only person who corresponds with you who was raised after the sexual revolution (I’m 39), so I have to tell you women haven’t “lost” their minds, they haven’t been inculcated with minds from birth. I was raised in a bourgeois bohemian household with no conception of danger. No guns, no defense, no good advice about men. They have been raised not to “judge” anyone and that all that matters is their “feelings.” Most of all, they have been raised not to discriminate. [LA replies: Yes, I understand what you’re saying. But I didn’t mean that individual women had minds and then lost them. I meant that women as a sex had a mind and have lost it. So you’re right: individual females born after that event did lose their female mind; they were deprived of ever having one, and had to redisover it.]

My mother had been a precursor in the sexual revolution and I grew up on stories of her conquests, her participation in the “civil rights movement” (a.k.a., dating black guys) etc. I was allowed to roam the city of Philadelphia at will at the age of 14, my mom even DROVE me to my boyfriend’s APARTMENT to spend the weekend with him and picked me up. That I survived my teenage years alone is a miracle. If I told you the things I saw and did between ages 14 and 18 you would probably die of shock.

In college I was part of the almost inescapable alternative hipster urban “hook up” culture of bars, bands and clubs.

You have to understand, this was my NORM. No one ever thinks of the generation born AFTER the revolution—with the NEW values. The women who promoted the sexual revolution seemed to have had no conception that they were doing it within the context of men who had been raised with prerevolutionary values. A girl in her 20s today is dealing with a guy who has watched the most disgusting acts of porn ever committed to film since he was 14 and who routinely asks women he dates to have a threesome with him as if it’s perfectly normal.

I am so glad to see you finally touching on what’s truly destroying our society—women’s political empowerment, sexual revolution, and hopefully one day you’ll discover what no-fault divorce has truly wrought and I look forward to seeing the discussion then. [LA replies: Why do you assume that I am not aware of the problem of no-fault divorce and that I do not oppose no-fault divorce?]

Clark Coleman writes:

I don’t buy the proposition that the natural (primitive) state of the family is a mother with children. Keeping in mind that all of us are speculating when it comes to prehistory, we have to reason carefully about what is plausible. It seems to me that a woman needs the support and protection of a man at least as much in a primitive society as in any other. She is increasingly incapacitated as pregnancy progresses, then further so during childbirth and immediate post-natal care of the child. Materialist reductionists such as Steve Sailer have hypothesized that marriage arises from these basic facts of life, yet in this thread virtually the opposite is proposed, that marriage was not part of human society until recent, more civilized times, that somehow women existed for millennia with no concern for stable male provision and protection. This is simply not credible. [LA replies: Mr. Coleman says, “in this thread,” suggesting that everyone were on board with that idea. To my knowledge one or two participants have stated that idea.]

A woman can satisfy her need for male support and protection in three ways: polyandry, which is never acceptable to males; polygyny (usually just called polygamy); and monogamy. The definitions of natural and civilized families in this thread were part of an (ahistorical) effort to assert the superiority of monogamy, a superiority I certainly affirm.

I propose an alternative insight. The modern welfare state is really a degenerate form of polygamy. The husband is Uncle Sam, the paternalistic government provider. To all the historically obvious problems of polygamy (e.g. many males have no stake in the civilization and become destructive forces in society) we add the following twist: The polygamous paternal figure (Uncle Sam) is no longer concerned about paternity and sexual faithfulness. Women have a provider who no longer concerns himself with her sexual activity, with the fact that she had two children from two different fathers before he met her, etc. Hence the floodgates of promiscuity (a.k.a. “sexual liberation”) are opened, along with jealous rages and all the other problems discussed in this thread.

May 15

Sebastian writes;

I did not want to touch this subject with a ten-foot pole, but Dana’s comments really struck a chord. As a 36-year-old divorced ma in New York City who is likely a libertine by VFR standards, I will limit my observations to the post-college and thirtysomething dating scene of professionals in large cities, the “Sex and the City” world across the West.

I think the fundamental problem is the clash between nature and feminist ideology, the latter expressed through the cultural norms of contemporary society. Women’s biology has not changed (yet). At a primal level, they are attracted to the physicality of the fireman or iron worker, the kind of man least likely to buy into the feminist reformation of masculinity. In today’s world this means men who have not attended college; men who speak honestly (and sometimes coarsely) and naturally assume gender differentiation—a man’s man. But woman are also attracted to wealth and success (the reasons are myriad and obvious), and this puts a premium on men who have spent most of their lives in the reprogramming camps known as educational facilities. The “better” the schools, the higher the degrees, the deeper the corruption and more removed from nature is the final result. Besides the renegade entrepreneur or hedge funder, the average professional male is a sad specimen indeed. Psychologically neutered, his words, voice and gestures seem designed with one goal in mind: not to offend; to exude egalitarianism and to minimize the difference between man and woman. He speaks indefinitely.

However, and this is a big But, as Dana points out, the androgynous society has created its own peculiar coarseness. Since (everyone is taught to believe) men and women really are the same, and since men watch porno and like threesomes, why not openly speak about these issues with women and expect them to partake? The younger generation is oblivious to any sense of romance or mystery. They expect women to rush into bed as fast as men, and many do. They really do not know how to negotiate the opposite sex. They use the same language appropriate among male friends with women. A buddy of mine often calls his girlfriend “dude” when they fight.. The average male today is a man-child.

Now, I have believed for some time that contemporary women’s attraction to dangerous men is the result of their dissatisfaction with “educated” men who are so far removed from an understanding of femininity, the real enemy of feminism. If a woman wants to marry a decent chap, she may well end up with an Alan Alda or some version of the ineffective, hapless TV dad. But she wants a man, damn it, a real man, and contemporary society has done a magnificent job of eradicating such people from polite society. So, even if subconsciously, she flirts with danger, empowered with the knowledge, as many of your commenters have observed, that nothing really bad can happen to her because, well, “you go girl.”

What feminism has destroyed is the strong gentleman, the Sean Connery figure who is an educated, high-end figure who has retained contact with his physicality and with the natural understanding that men and women really are different, and thus acts accordingly. He was the mainstay of Hollywood films until the seventies or so when the brooding rebel (child) eclipsed him. He has been deconstructed out of our lives. This has opened the darker forces of eros, with the results we have been discussing. Men today appear to be either brutes or soft androgens who inspire contempt. See Godard’s 1963 film Contempt to get an insight into female psychology regarding weak men. I see the same frustrations among women today.

There’s much more to the story, but that’s my take from the canyons of Manhattan, one that remains, I hope, sympathetic to women on the whole. It’s not their fault the sisterhood created this world. They were born into it and make their way as best they can, as do all of us.

LA replies:

You write:

“Men today appear to be either brutes or soft androgens who inspire contempt.”

But what about men who cultivate a brutish physical appearance, e.,g., shaven head, but whose personality seems recessive? This is very common today: men who are brutish looking but quiet and recessive, seemingly a second to their talky female partner. Are they brutes or androgens?

Here is an example of the type I’m speaking of, from an entry in September 2008 entitled “Feminism’s ideal male.” (Some readers disagreed with my understanding of the photograph, or felt the photo was too subtle to convey the message I was talking about.)

I wrote:

We see them everywhere. The woman—well dressed, sexy, self-assured, in command. The man at her side—slovenly, shambling, unshaven, unfocused. Even the hunky types seem to lack any male pride—Stanley Kowalski without the self-confidence.

The same image appears constantly on TV and especially in ads. It’s all about the woman, with the shadowy male a mere property or accessory highlighting her glorious female power, as in this advertisement for PayPal:


The woman in the photo, seemingly chosen for her resemblance to Sarah Jessica Parker, is voluble, aggressive, full of herself. The man, hunky but hunched over and recessive, serves merely as her assistant.

Todd Palin has got to be one tough customer to be four time winner of a 2,000 mile snowmobile race. But he was unshaven even at his wife’s acceptance speech, and in his role as husband of a political wife he stands meekly behind her. Do we really want to make their relationship the model for America? Will that be healthy for men, for women, for children, for society as a whole?

Laura W. writes:

You say, “That’s the bigger danger of the acceptance of homosexuality, not extreme, individual behaviors.”

To me, the big danger, aside from harm to children, is the sheer run-of-the-mill unhappiness of homosexuals, whether it causes extreme individual behaviors or not. If more heterosexuals realized that countering the homosexual agenda was actually good for homosexuals themselves, the movement against their radical agenda would have more impetus. It’s as if the whole country were supplying alcoholics with free vodka.

Victims of the homosexual movement, mostly former homosexuals themselves, are going to speak out in greater numbers. It’s already happening. It is only inevitable that it will gather momentum eventually. In the meantime, the more people who say it, the better, for the sake of those who are getting caught in the net.

Ian B. writes:

I think the main weakness of Mark P.’s theory is that he is presenting a dysfunctional minority subset of women as if they represented all women. We all know women who sleep around with a bunch of lazy thugs in their youth, before settling down after 30. But here’s the thing: most women don’t do this. Most marriages don’t involve the woman sticking her husband with bastard children from previous trysts. These normal relationships just don’t get as much attention, because dysfunctional train wrecks always attracts more notice.

In general, women want a guy who will provide security and well-being for them and their children. This is undoubtedly biologically hardwired to a large degree. So women are attracted to signs of strength. Of course, it stands to reason that, regardless of the time period, the best protector and provider is going to be a guy who is both capable of violence when needs be (to protect his wife and children, not to use it against them), as well as a competent and invested provider. The majority of women understand this.

However, some women recognize certain signs of strength more than others. Some are primed to recognize primarily capacity for violence, and fail to be turned off by the fact that the guy is a no-account loser who is none-too-intelligent and likely to use violence mainly on her (an “alpha male” as Mark defines them). Most women aren’t like this, but there are enough of them that a thug type can usually find a few.

I don’t see why this requires positing some time in the deep past when violent, transient, no-count “alpha male” thugs were the ideal catch. Again, most women are not like this, just like most men are not like this. Mark describes himself as a “beta male” (which is a lot more common that the sorts of men he’s talking about). Does this mean we need to posit some period in the deep past when beta males were the dreamy ones? Human personality traits exist on a long continuum. I don’t see the need to posit particular scenarios in the deep past to account for each and every one of them.

Oh, btw, Mark suggests that these women stop dating thugs when they get older, and go after more reliable guys, because their looks are starting to fade. There may be some truth to that, but I think that the primary explanation is a lot more straightforward: It’s simply that people (both men and women) in general become wiser, less reckless, and more perceptive as they mature.

LA replies:

Ian B. is ably criticizing one of the dominant thought-forms of our age: the habit, born of Darwinism, of explaining every human trait as a result of “evolutionary” pressures during the period of early human evolution. By this way of thinking, men and women aren’t the way they are because there is a male and female nature; they’re the way they are because of selective pressures during the Old Stone Age. So, for example, “Men had to hunt, and women had to care for the young, so women learned to prefer men who were good hunters…” By this way of thinking, the male and female natures are a contingent result of a historical process, rather than something built-in. The implication is that men and women might have been entirely different, if subjected to different “evolutionary” pressures.

Furthermore, all these explanations, which parade as science, are in reality notthing more than “stories,” Darwinian fairy tales. There is no proof for them. They are at best reasonable but unproven guesses.

Finally, there is vastly more about men and women than can be explained (even in fairy tale form) as resulting from selective pressures on them during the hunter gatherer stage of human pre-history.

LA continues:

Here’s just one example of how inadequate are the Darwinian explanations of human nature. For 100,000 years of hunter-gatherer existence, selective pressures would have ruthlessly killed off effeminate or homosexual tendencies in males, not to mention the slightly important Darwinian factor that homosexual men do not reproduce. Then, after that 100,000 year period, civilization for the last 7,000 years has, with occasional exceptions, ruthlessly suppressed homosexuality. By the Darwinian way of thinking, homosexuality should be non-existent. Yet it was present in the ancient world, and in the blink of an evolutionary eye, in a mere forty years, homosexuality is suddenly everywhere and even taking over society in the form of a homosexualist tyranny in which no criticism of homosexuality can be publicly voiced. This phenomenon is totally incompatible with Darwinism.

So what is the truth? The truth is that there is a human nature, and that there are also classic distortions or derailments of human nature, which are best explained in Christian terms, as the result of sin. Darwinism is unable to explain them.

The inadequacy of Darwinism is also seen with regard to the behaviors being discussed in this thread. In reality, women are attracted to strong men because that is the female nature, period. Now this norm of female attraction to male strength also has its classic derailments, its excessive or negative expressions, e.g., being attracted to criminal brutes. But we don’t need Darwin for that. It is very clearly and satisfactorily explained by Aristotle in the Nichomachian Ethics. But the modern world rejects the classic philosophers as much as it rejects Christianity.

May 20

Michael S. writes:

Regarding that PayPal ad,

This probably isn’t what they had in mind, but here’s an alternative interpretation:

Husband is working on his computer (not “playing,” as women tend to like to say).

Husband calls his wife over to show her how PayPal works, because either (a) she’s too stupid to figure it out herself, (b) she’s not dumb, but (worse) she’s convinced herself that “this computer stuff is too hard to figure out, or (c) she’s never heard of PayPal and WOWIE, IT’S SO COOL!

So of course she has to get closer to the screen, because … well … wowie!

Anyway, he’s the one with his hand on the keyboard.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at May 15, 2009 01:05 AM | Send

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