Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Me, Jane

Charlotte Allen, author of the Weekly Standard’s cover story The New Dating Game is writing a doctoral thesis on medieval and Byzantine studies. This explains a lot about her latest article, since she seems to be unaware of a lot of things that have happened since then, like the Jazz Age. She also appears to have never watched movies, television, or the arc of her friends’ failed relationships. Let’s walk through it.

The premise of her article is that, with civilization and our pants crumpling around our ankles, contemporary sexual mores have reverted to those of the Stone Age, driven entirely by our animal lusts. She bases this on a few generalizations drawn from the field of evolutionary psychology (a field whose entire purpose seems to be in providing kindling for popular articles) and a few references to sex in popular culture, which as we all know is a fairly recent development and not anything you’d come across in with any frequency in Allen’s area of expertise.

Women, women, loue of women,

Make bare purs with some men,

Some be nyse as a nonne hene,

Yit al thei be nat soo.

some be lewde,

some all be schrewde;

Go schrewes wher thei goo.

Sum be nyse, and some be fonde,

And some be tame, y vndirstonde,

And some can take brede of a manes hande,

Yit all thei be nat soo.

some be lewde,

some all be schrewde;

Go schrewes wher thei goo[1]

The article contains a lot of fallacies, not the least of which is referring to Tucker Max as “extrovertedly good looking,” when in reality he looks more like Charles Laughton’s bottom lip, except not as extroverted, presuming physical appearances can be gregarious and outgoing.

Describing a somewhat publicized one-night stand between Max and a college girl, she essentially calls them both assholes (no argument there) and seems to regard this incident as representative of typical sexual encounters in our time. Then, (surprise!) she blames feminism:

It helps, of course, that there’s currently a buyer’s market in women who are up for just about anything with the right kind of cad, what with delayed marriage (the average age for a woman’s first wedding is now 26, compared with 20 in 1960, according to the University of Virginia-based National Marriage Project’s latest report); reliable contraception; and advances in antibiotics (no more worries about what used to be called venereal disease). No-fault divorce, moreover, has pushed the marriage-dissolutio

n rate up to between 40 and 50 percent and swelled the single-female population with “cougars” in their 30s, 40s, 50s, and beyond

I have to agree somewhat. It does help that we have reliable contraception—although if it were covered by health insurance, that would be even better. I’m also pleased about advances in medicine, although, again, there’s the insurance issue, and that’s assuming you even have insurance in the first place. (I’ll note that anyone who thinks that nobody’s worried about venereal disease is a damn fool.) No-fault divorce is a blessing—it didn’t always turn out like the end of The Gay Divorcee back when you needed pro

of of infidelity to get a divorce—and I have always liked cougars, although the idea that A) You can be a cougar in your 30’s and B) older single women are all cougars is problematic. I also don’t see the connection between waiting until adulthood to marry (particularly as life expectancy increases and adult phases of life seem to be expanding proportionally) and being delighted to fuck just about anybody.

A group calling itself the Women’s Direct Action Collective issued a manifesto in 2007 titled Sluts Against Rape insisting that “a woman should have t

he right to be sexual in any way she chooses” and that easy availability was “a positive assertion of sexual identity.” In other words, if people call you a whore because you, say, fall into bed with someone whose name you can’t quite remember, that’s their problem. Of course, if a man mistakes a woman being “sexual in any way she chooses” for consent to have sex, it’s still rape.

Yes, it is.

The same feminist academics pooh-pooh concerns about the long-term effects of the hookup culture, arguing that it’s essentially just a harmless college folly, akin to swallowing goldfish

My mistake! She HAS heard of the Jazz Age!

All this takes place to a basso profundo of feminist cheerleading.

I just get a kick out of the idea of cheerleading in basso profundo.

And of course, no article of this sort is complete without referring to:

Sex and the City. A survey reported in the New York Daily Ne

ws around the time of the film’s release revealed that the typical female resident of Manhattan, who marries later on average than almost every other woman in the country, has 20 sex partners during her lifetime. By way of contrast, the median number of lifetime sex partners for all U.S. women ages 15 to 44 is just 3.3, according to the Census Bureau’s latest statistical abstract.

I’m sure every woman in Manhattan went out and fucked 16.7 people as soon as they saw the previews. And that people don’t lie about their sexual lives to the U.S. Census. And that in, say, 1980, or 1920, for that matter, women in Manhattan had the same number of sex partners as women in Boise, Idaho or Havana, Florida.

As might be expected, many males would like to help themselves at this overladen buffet. But there’s a problem: While it’s a truism that the main beneficiaries of the sexual revolution are men, it is only some men: the Tucker Maxes, with the good looks, self-confidence, and swagger that enable them to sidle up successfully to a gaggle of well turned-out females in a crowded and anonymous club where the short-statured, the homely, the paunchy, the balding, and the sweater-clad are, if not turned away outside by the bouncer, ignominiously ignored by the busy, beautiful people within.

In my day, women slept with men because they were wea

lthy, not because they were charming or handsome, dag nabbit!

Then she goes on to look at “seduction gurus,” and the expensive training they give would-be Casanovas, presenting this as evidence that women are sexually out of control.

This must also be new, because I’ve never heard

of anyone capitalizing on men’s desires to get laid. Making a profit by selling guys things to help them get laid? Revolutionary! Someone ought to tell the floundering automotive industry about this.

In June 2005, Craig Malisow, a reporter for the Houston Press, trailed 24-year-old Bashev, a Bulgarian-born graduate student in engineering at Rice University and self-styled pickup expert, to a series of bars and clubs in Houston. Bashev had no intention of telling the 20-something Hbs [Hot Babe] he met that his day job

consisted of working with multivariable calculus. Instead he pointed to his shoes and informed them that he was a “foot model.”

Do you know a single woman who would rather do a foot model than someone whose job involves calculus? Another student of seduction told women he “repaired disposable razors” rather than reveal his desk job. I have no idea why anyone would say that.

After that, she goes into a spiel about evolutionary psychology, which to her credit she admits is slightly shaky. She still manages to equate contemp

orary hunter-gatherer societies to prehistoric humans, implicating anthropologists as the origin of this idea (hey!) but then goes on to say:

Evolutionary psychology also provides support for a truth universally denied: Women crave dominant men. And it seems that where men are forbidden to dominate in a socially beneficial way—as husbands and fathers, for example—women will seek out assertive, self-confident men whose displays of power aren’t so socially beneficial

Hm. Allen appears to be against readily available divorce and pro-male domination of the home and family. I guess the reason girls go to college and

sleep with boys is because battered women have the right to leave their marriages. For shame.

This game of sexual Whack-a-Mole is played regularly these days in a culture that, starting with children’s schoolbooks and moving up through films and television, targets as oppressors and mocks as bumblers the entire male sex.

I have an article I wrote about that, using training and expertise I gained studying anthropology, not Byzantium. Sneak preview: humor is subversive, and frequently relies on the inversion of societal structures to create a sense of incongruity and provoke a laugh. That is why I am making fun of this article; she gets paid to be a

n idiot, and I’m a college student on a fixed income. It’s funny because she’s more powerful than I am.

It’s increasingly common for women to air their husbands’ perceived faults to both their friends and the general public.

News flash: it is increasingly common for everyone to air everything to both their friends and the general public. That’s why I’m writing this when I should be studying for my Aramaic exam instead of reading it in the paper, giving a dismissive snort, and perhaps discussing it with my friends over coffee.

Not surprisingly, given that “head of the household” is a phrase that cannot be uttered in today’s egalitarian homes, many women satisfy their yearning for dominance by throwing themselves at bad boys or even worse.

Women were never attracted to the dangerous types in the fifties, consarn it!

Here’s the very next sentence:

The very day, March 17, 2005, that Scott Peterson—sentenced to death in California for killing his wife and unborn son and throwing their remains into San Francisco Bay—took up residence on San Quentin’s death row, he received three-dozen phone calls from smitten women, including an 18-year-old who wanted to become his second wife. According to an April story in People, Peterson is still being flooded with letters from female admirers almost five years later, many of the mash notes containing checks to pay for his commissary charges. That’s par for the course on death row, where the rule is: The more notorious the killer, the more fan mail and marriage proposals.

There are also entire webrings based on infant furry porn[2]. My point is, no matter what you’re talking about, somebody’s going to be into it in a sexual way. The clue you’re looking for to discover the reason the more notorious criminals get the most fan mail might have something to do with the word “notorious”. That is, more people will have heard of him. You can’t have a crush on someone you’ve never heard of.

Here’s where we get to the main point of the article:

But it’s a fair signal of impending social chaos when the prevailing female attitude is dissatisfaction, either mild or intense, with the workaday Joes—the good-provider beta males—whom one has already married or, in the era before the sexual and feminist revolutions, would be planning to marry because chasing alphas in bars was not a respectable option for the female middle class… Some argue, though, that it is actually beta men who are the greatest victims of the current mating chaos: the ones who work hard, act nice, and find themselves searching in vain for potential wives and girlfriends among the hordes of young women besotted by alphas.

Ah. The myth of the “Nice Guy”. Sorry, that one would take an entire article to itself. Let me just say that A) There are authentically nice guys, (currently all of the ones I know are very happy in stable monogamous, or in a few cases, polyamorous, relationships,) and B) guys who

seem “nice” but are really passive aggressive shitheads. A guy isn’t “nice” just because he doesn’t yell or hit. or because he isn’t Max Tucker, or Tucker Max, or whoever that guy is. Apples and oranges.

That’s the rest of the article; she quotes a sociopathic contributor to a journal she describes as “the Occidental Quarterly, a paleoconservative publication whose other contributors tend to focus obsessively on the question of which ethnic groups belong to which race.” She then blithely brushes away this alarming news and quotes him for the remainder of her essay, essentially bleating that women should be celibate until marriage and learn to bake apple pies to please hubby, because otherwise we’re all going to hell in a hand basket.

The ironic thing about this is that I do agree with Allen when it comes to one thing: if women want the respect of men, they need to respect themselves and treat men with respect in return. Well, no shit! It’s too bad she never got around to actually discussing the idea with any coherence in her essay.

[1] Source: http://www.luminarium.org/medlit/medlyric/women.php

[2] Source: Encyclopedia Dramatica

1 comment:

  1. I'm going to have to use "Sexual Whack a Mole" in my everyday speech now.

    Hi, I'm a friend of Anna's.