Saturday, February 02, 2008

The Latest Flavor of Backlash

I often wonder what fuels the "seduction community," those Mystery Method and David DeAngelo knockoffs who advocate belittling and manipulating women for cheap thrills and commitment-free sex. What's the motivation?

I mean, aside from sex, and the fact that it's easy to throw stones and behave like a twit under a veil of Internet anonymity. Simple: it's just a rehash of Fatal Attraction. Upwardly mobile, modern woman as horror movie freakshow monster. It's the latest, and most absurd, flavor of backlash.

I'm going to take a cue from this guy and state a few rampant overgeneralizations as fact:

1. The average 25-year-old woman has an upwardly mobile job, an apartment, and a Coach satchel or two.
2. The average 25-year-old man lives in his momma's basement, and his abundant leisure time is focused on leveling-up his World of Warcraft avatar and wondering why he doesn't have a girlfriend.

Women are rapidly closing the achievement and salary gaps. Gen Y women, in particular, are equal to, if not ahead of, men their age. So what does this have to do with the "pump-and-dump" seducer?


1. These sites love to claim that a woman's attractiveness rapidly declines after age 25. That age is NOT a coincidence. Because how else can we convince today's successful young women to slow their careers and devote their considerable mental faculties toward husband-shopping?
2. These sites spend a lot of time claiming that women want to be "seduced." Well, sure, except for one thing. Did they talk with any actual women? Of course not. Like it's always been, since Grog and Og got married, there are a lot of people out there who want women to conform to traditional gender roles. And if you can convince women that they want traditional feminity, the job gets a lot easier. Girls, think for yourselves. Please.
3. If you dispute any of the claims these guys make, it's because you're ugly/fat/too old. Or you're an unfeminine battleaxe and don't know your place. Context is nothing, appearance and put-downs are all. Why deal with a woman as a human being with feelings and ideas, when she can just be a pair of sagging tits?
4. And some women actually fall for it - in fact, one female commenter on the site I linked to above spent considerable bandwidth describing how attractive and sexually free she was, even though it really had nothing to do with anything.

So, first off, I'm going to give these 25-year-old women who date men in their 30s a free pass. It used to annoy me, because y'all were cutting into my demographic. But really, if your men are that hopeless, have at it. You have my blessing.

Second, I'm going to open this post to comments. I'd like to hear from all sides, with one exception: if I see one "U-G-L-Y, you ain't got no alibi" response I am deleting your ass.


Washington Cube said...

You don't know me, Shannon, but I've been reading your blog. I want a favor. There are some of us in the D.C. blogging community that are mildly amused at best at the dating wars that erupt on blogs periodically. Want to do something that "might" amuse you? For three years, several D.C. bloggers have banded together to list a poem on their blog as this is poetry day, then link over to the creator of this group blog project: Reya:

As for the basement trolls and cliched women they love to discourse on, in the words of Tim Gunn, "Carry on."

Shannon said...

"There are some of us in the D.C. blogging community that are mildly amused at best at the dating wars that erupt on blogs periodically."

Tell me if I'm misintrepreting this, but you're telling me my current post is a tad dull and I ought to be publishing poems instead like the bloggers in your particular circle.

No thank you. If I've hurt someone's feelings, that's one thing, but if group of people I don't know and have never met don't approve of my topics, so be it.

I've had this site for over five years, long before any "blog wars" or other foolishness. I write about what's on my mind. If it's a dull or overused topic, oh well, some topics come up over and over because they're worth discussing.

Mike said...

Hey, Shannon. I suspect that guys who feel the need to debase women are acting out of fear. They can't handle women being their equals, so they have to knock them down in order to affirm their own dominance. Perhaps that's over-simplified or cliche, but it seems to fit more times than not.

I think that the same dynamic is behind the stereotype of the female athlete as lesbian. Since men use sports as a way of gaining status, if women can compete, then the men are unsure of their own masculinity. Since we all know that "real" women can't catch, and throw like girls, and are afraid of breaking a nail, then the ones who are good at sports must not be "real" women.

Kristen S. said...

You should, by all means necessary, avoid the "Millionaire Matchmaker" on Bravo. Holy criminey, the guys are living breathing examples of what your're talking about. Forty six year old millionaires picking 25-year-old "personal trainers" (i.e. gold diggers with no real skills whose good looks, laziness and lack of depth are part of the vicious objectification circle). And then they wonder why there's no chemistry at the end of the episode.

Shannon said...

Mike, I agree that fear is a more powerful motivator than contempt. The explosion of pickup artist/Game literature websites is just another way of asserting control.

So, I guess if you can't beat 'em in the boardroom, you can manipulate, mock and humiliate them for cheap sex. Why be with a woman who is your equal, who challenges and motivates you, when you can just go from one shallow encounter to the next?

Kristen, that's really seriously a TV show? I ask because I don't watch TV (really, I'm not being snobby - I haven't watched TV in two years).

Kristen S. said...

Yep, a real TV show on Bravo. Crazazy! I caught one episode, and I still feel dirty! And I'm a big reality TV viewer, too.

roissy said...

oy vey. ok, let's take this from the top. to your points:

1. women's looks do begin the slow fade after 25. no alternative overcomplicated explanation needed.
2. psychological sex differences are biological in nature. no convincing required.
3. no. but it's a safe bet that the women most vociferously disputing the claims of men who know what it takes to turn women on are carrying the bitter baggage of some combination of the debilitating sexual market value impairments you listed.
4. women "fall for it" because they understand on a primal level that their looks are truly paramount to winning the attentions of quality men.

the doctor of love.

Shannon said...

Roissy, howdy. How ya been? As ever, I disagree.

You're stating opinions as incontrovertible fact. I can do that, all I want, but that's because this blog is my castle.

The overall point is that, yes, there's a little bit more to women than looks. Shocking! But gaming/seducing/etc reduces women to conquests and paper cutouts instead of equals (and therefore competitors). And if the women themselves are complicit, that just makes it easier for y'all.

1. It's not an overly complicated statement: convince successful women their top priority is landing a husband, so they lose focus on other things in the exact years most women are ramping up at work.

Also, a woman who actually likes herself is attractive at any age. She may not be attractive to every man everywhere, heaven knows I'm not. But the good guys self-select. A woman who figures that out is a damn good catch.

2. See comment above: opinion does not equal fact. And here we are at nature vs. nurture. I fail to see how social conditioning equals biological imperative. One may inform the other, but putting everything on biology is a drastic oversimplification. (We do a little more than hunting and gathering these days.)

3. Or quality women hate to be marginalized and insulted by men who prefer flimsy girly-girls. And, no, I feel no need to rise to the bait and go on about how cute I am.

4. Depends how you define "quality." I will say that beauty gives a woman a higher overall number of men to pick from - but sometimes the odds are good, but the goods are odd. I'd rather one really great guy find me attractive than a dozen mediocre ones.