Sex Differences In Book Dedications

Reader Joel emails:

Here is an observation I have made about book dedications and how they give some insight into the female mind. I would like your opinion about it. You may use it on your blog site, or not. I would like some of this to be made known to your readers.

Many of the younger men just don’t get the nature of women, until too late, that is. I suppose this is because the girls put up a good show, and virtually all of the young man’s socialization tells him very little but lies. I blame testosterone for a lot of male blindness to the female personality. It is hard think rationally about anything, let alone women, when your testosterone level is high.

But, clues are everywhere. For example, take book dedications. I work in the medical field. Many medical books, if authored by only one or two people (an increasingly rare phenomenon these days) will have a dedication by the author. Almost all medical books have been authored by men, and the dedications usually give recognition to a person or persons important in their life, like wives, fathers, and mentors.

A common dedication would be:

This book is dedicated to my wife, my loving companion and my constant inspiration.

Or in the older books, just a plain:

To my wife: Mary Alice Haagensen.

Fathers often get mentioned, eg:

To the loving memory of my father, etc.

My personal favorite from a giant in his field:

I dedicate this book to my father, whose love of truth inspired me in all my works.

This particular author was home schooled by his father. Just to show they don’t make them like that anymore, he was married to a nurse, and they both lived into their old age together. When she died, a friend asked him if he missed his wife or was depressed over her death. His response would be a nice epitaph for anyone:

To complain about her passing would be poor thanks for a lifetime of perfect companionship.

Often, the books are dedicated to their mentors, sometimes by name, sometimes generically. Also, sometimes to their students, who are given credit for inspiring the authors to greater efforts by their youthful curiosity.

So, now that women are starting to write books, and have been doing so long enough so that it is not a novelty and they no longer simply ape the customs of men, what do we see?

Two recent book dedications, from women professors at a major medical institution:

To Andy-my husband, my best friend, my constant supporter, and the most decent person I have ever known.

Now, let’s look at this dedication. Where does she say she has the slightest emotional attachment to him? I could have written this about my dog, and with more feeling. And, to anybody who knows the female mind, a “decent man” is the man who she finds distinctly uninteresting in bed. By God, she is advertising to the world that her husband is a dud. A complete beta.

A second example:

To Michelle, Ryan, Alice, Justin, and Christopher.

Sounds odd. Who are these people? The first four are her kids. The last is her live in boyfriend, who happens to be a professor in the same department. No mention of her husband(s). Or father.

These dedications are outrageous, in my opinion, but, such is the amoral mindset of women.

Don’t say you weren’t warned.

I find this kind of putatively trivial stuff worthy of my attention because I believe much wisdom and knowledge about the mind of women can be gleaned from it. In fact, and despite my many science-oriented posts, most of what I learned about women was gotten from simply observing them in real life, whether in their doings with me or with others. Yet, the science is fascinating for how often it backs up what I observe with my own eyes.

So seemingly little things like sex differences in book dedications, when viewed with an inquisitive mind unshackled from the chains of hoary platitudes, leads to a better understanding of the emotional and cognitive commonalities that almost all women share. This, in turn, illuminates for the knowledge-seeking man the deeply embedded thinking processes that guide the behavior — sexual or otherwise — of women.

Am I surprised by the curiosity that modern Western women are rather unaffectionate, masculine sounding, and even belittling in their dedications to the men in their lives, or that that often dump their lovers — sometimes husbands, sometimes live-in boyfriends — at the back of the line of a laundry list of people? Am I thunderstruck by the fact that the typical authoress’s book dedication sounds solipsistic, like a vajrap straight outta self-empowerment?

The answer, of course, would be no. But I didn’t need anyone to tell me that. All I needed was a willingness to see the world as it really is, and to flinch not at what I saw. In a sane, reasonable world, this would not be a monumental accomplishment on my part. But in the world bequeathed us, filled to brimming with the willing blind and their wicked pied pipers, it is a glorious imposition upon this veil of lies.

To my readers: sharpen your claws, tear the veil into tatters, and feel the tingles of the women.





Comments


  1. You crazy.

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  2. Fair enough. But your observations appear to have become somewhat a dogma. You now seem to see everything through gender-colored glasses. Now, if you can sort a number of dedications of books written more or less recently by sex, I will gladly accept your (or Joel’s) theory. But will you bother?

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  3. Charting the Death of America:

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/projecting-jobs-chart?destination=node/261240

    Notice, each subsequent depression has become progressively worse since the Great Depression of the 1930’s.

    We are at the very start of the new Great Depression of our century, one that will firmly destroy America’s place in the world as a leader.

    We will still not be the worst off of all countries. It’s also likely that America will dissolve into many smaller countries.

    Cheers to you all! I hope you’ve scored a good government job to help you survive the coming hyperinflation and social chaos! Stockpile gold, silver, and alcohol if you can afford it too.

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  4. on December 6, 2010 at 6:42 pm gbfm & roissy genius !!

    i would like to dedicate this video to my two beloved mentors gbfm and roissy — not my womentors but my menots.

    http://www.xtranormal.com/watch/7936021/

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  5. And about the post:

    The most basic truth about women I have learned from reading the Great Books:

    Men stay with women out of love, women stay with men out of necessity.

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  6. My ” inquisitive mind unshackled from the chains of hoary platitudes” interprets this Rorschach inkblot as a DC lawyer’s vagina, attempting to bite your penis off.

    THE PATTERNS ARE EVERYWHERE!!!!!!!111!!11!1

    The signs are there for all the pilgrims to see!!! Open your eyes, open your hearts! THE CHATEAU REVEALS THE WORDS OF THE LAWWD, PRAISE BEE!

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  7. To da bitch who let me cum in her ass while her husband was out getting her chicken soup, you made me feel like settling down for TWENTY minutes! You’re aces, babe, don’t ever change!

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  8. The unnatural role and responsibility of “author” forces women to rely upon bland praises for their most beloved – to defensively conceal their emotions.

    Women flourish more when dominated – thus, writing a book as an authorette imbues them with the unnatural, extraordinary magic of captaincy usually reserved for the historically real writers -Men. You see this clearly in blogs because these are everyday writers writing of the mundane and lacking the sophistication to conceal.

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  9. The best writers are almost invariably men.

    When you encounter a woman writer who’s excellent it’s quite a shock, and 9 times out of 10 that woman will turn out to be quite a “mannish” character.

    For example, I was reading a book by Barbara Oakley, quite well-written, about “evil genes”. Her rigour was impressive. I wasn’t even going to bother picking up the book when I saw a woman wrote it. Glad I did though.

    I looked her up: she’s a systems engineer, an Associate Professor of Engineering, and in her past she rose from a U.S. Army private to captain.

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  10. Interesting perspective

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  11. You must be joking.

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  12. The reason is that women get their value in the sexual space. Men are valued by accomplishments. For a man who creates a work of value, it’s easy and appropriate to express gratitude to counterbalance the pride that comes from it. Actresses at the oscars express gratitude without any problems. But actresses also get validation in the sexual space. For a woman to accomplish something or to even focus on accomplishments as opposed to focusing on sex and men is going against the feminine mandate. In general a woman like that is not respected at large, and there is no place for gratitude to counteract pride.

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  13. love ya roissy but the blog in the last few weeks has been tepid. time to get the book out !

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  14. A wise man once said to me,
    “no woman ever wrote a country and western song about how she misses her dead husband.”

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  15. I actually rarely read any book/article written by a chic, unless my school requires it.

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  16. i dunno, the first dedication doesnt seem so bad. Assuming most authors are middle age, calling her husband her best friend and the most decent person she’s known is a decent compliment. If she was 28, calling her boyfriend “decent” might be pretty bad.

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  17. You find similar differences when politicians thank their wives. Bill Clinton and other men always make a point of warmly thanking and praising their wives. Hillary Clinton and other women have a hard time uttering the words, and often make wisecracks instead.

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  18. If she so chooses, even an ugly woman can get another piece of replacement ass in .06 seconds.

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  19. Lupo,

    That’s true. And in poetry, there’s a multitude of men who wrote great poems praising their beloved, but the only poetess of any note who did the same was Elizabeth Barret Browning.

    The love of wine and women, words and work and worship: These are the traits of men. And in this feminised world, little wonder that they’re in decline. Now we get jaded old bulldykes writing verse about solving crosswords in the New Yorker.

    Feminism killed true poetry stone dead

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  20. loling at this post. making judgments about 6 dedications and then blowing it up into some huge generalization about the sexes is kiiind of absurd.

    i mean come on. this guy likes this one “To my wife: Mary Alice Haagensen.”

    but doesn’t like “To Andy-my husband, my best friend, my constant supporter, and the most decent person I have ever known.”

    they are both fine. not only that but even the second one here sounds nicer than the first. anyway both sexes are amoral so whatev 🙂

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  21. Can’t see the tree for the forest.

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  22. or…can’t see the forest for the tree. You pick….

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  23. Samseau “Men stay with women out of love, women stay with men out of necessity.”

    Use this to your advantage. Leverage your economic advantage over your girl, and arrange to keep her economically disadvantaged and dependent on you. Ideally she should work full time for you, and have little to no safety net.

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  24. Your interpretation may be correct. But also possible is that the wives are actually more helpful than the husbands/boyfriends; thus the male dedicators are (properly) more grateful.

    Most successful men owe a large part of their success to their wives (who type, proofread, discuss and edit their books very typically); successful women usually do it alone. Just think of the difference between Michelle Obama (supports the family financially while Barack is building his career; campaigns for him; runs all his social events; takes care of all famlly responsibilities) and Todd Palin (doesn’t do much).

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  25. Lupo Leboucher

    A wise man once said to me,
    “no woman ever wrote a country and western song about how she misses her dead husband.”

    I’ve often theorized that women are attracted to risk taking males, because deep down in their monkey brains a calculation of loss/benefit is made. If the male is replaceable, a high risk taking male is attractive.

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  26. George

    You find similar differences when politicians thank their wives. Bill Clinton and other men always make a point of warmly thanking and praising their wives. Hillary Clinton and other women have a hard time uttering the words, and often make wisecracks instead.

    This has to do with how women get status amongst their group. And make no mistake, it is a sexually distinct group, with sex specific status markers.

    Having a beta slave is a sign of status. That he is your personal bitch, and that you can bitch about him, is a signal of personal power.

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  27. The corollary is that if a woman makes warm romanic praises to her man, she comes across to other women as weak minded and naive and powerless.

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  28. “they are both fine. not only that but even the second one here sounds nicer than the first. anyway both sexes are amoral so whatev :)”

    no, it really doesn’t. calling your partner a “decent person” (most or not) makes him sound like a $4.99 toastie machine that outlived its expected lifespan. it sounds jarring to any human being with a soul.

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  29. Mankind, woman unkind.

    An egotist is a man who expects a woman to marry him for himself alone.

    There are two kinds of women: those who wish to marry, and those who haven’t the slightest intention not to.

    The only time a woman has a true orgasm is when she’s shopping. Every other time she’s faking it. It’s common courtesy.

    That which attracts us in a woman rarely binds us to her.

    Brains are never a handicap to a girl if she hides them under a see-through blouse.

    “After men, monkeys have the most intelligence,” says an author. Others will argue that women do.

    Smart men are smarter than they look; smart women look smarter than they are.

    Man forgives woman everything save the wit to outwit him.

    The woman and the sage are forever diametrically opposed – each thinks the other lives a life of escapism.

    Of what use is independence to a woman, if she is – all alone?

    A woman has three reasons for everything she does: the reason she says she has, the reason she thinks she has, and the reason she really has.

    I will not say that women have no character, rather, they have a new one every day.

    A man of straw is worth a woman of gold.

    Virtue in women is often merely love of their reputation and their peace of mind.

    Lady: one who never shows her underwear unintentionally.

    If men knew all that women think, they’d be twenty times more daring.

    Sexual shyness in a man excites the desire of dissolute women, but arouses contempt in decent ones.

    Between a woman’s “yes” and “no” there is no room for the point of a needle.

    The sad lesson of life is that you treat a girl with respect, and the next guy comes along and he’s banging the hell out of her.

    The difference between rape and seduction is salesmanship.

    She is proud of catching male interest, of arousing admiration, but what revolts her is to be caught in return. Men’s stares flatter and hurt her simultaneously; she wants only what she shows to be seen: eyes are always too penetrating.

    Women sometimes forgive a man who presses an opportunity, but never a man who misses one.

    There are women who offer their bodies as though they were bestowing some inestimable gift upon you.

    Little girls are won with dolls; big girls with dollars.

    Even a fickle woman is loyal to one man – until she prefers another.

    Her husband’s funeral Is often where a widow looks for the next man.

    There is no fury like an ex-wife searching for a new lover.

    Woman’s virtue is man’s greatest invention.

    Indiscretion: the guilt of woman.

    A woman sometimes feels pity for the sorrows that she causes without remorse.

    No matter how much a woman loved a man, it would still give her a glow to see him commit suicide for her.

    A woman rarely discards one lover until she is sure of another.

    I’ve never met a man of good character who has had anything to do with a woman.

    Women have no moral sense; they rely for their behaviour upon the men they love.

    Women are all bought in the market – from the whore to the Princess. The price alone is different, and the highest price, in money or rank, obtains the woman.

    There are some meannesses which are too mean even for man – woman, lovely woman alone, can venture to commit them.

    Women give themselves to God when the Devil wants nothing more to do with them.

    There is but one thing in the world worse than a shameless woman, and that’s another woman.

    A clever man will build a city, a clever woman will lay it low.

    Where the Devil cannot go himself he sends an old woman.

    Woman – last at the cross, earliest at the grave.

    Better the devil’s than a woman’s slave.

    Her grief lasted longer than any woman I have ever known – at least three days.

    When widows exclaim loudly against second marriages, I would always lay a wager that the man, if not the wedding day, is absolutely fixed on.

    Women are not necessarily evil – but evil is necessarily feminine.

    Dedication in a book: “To my wife, without whose absence this could not have been written.”

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  30. the problem is men accepting such behaviour

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  31. “To Andy-my husband, my best friend, my constant supporter, and the most decent person I have ever known.”

    I actually thought this was very loving, what would you have preferred she said?

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  32. Love is the thing that should count in life.

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  33. There’s selection bias here. A woman with a committed alpha is lucky and spends all of her time keeping that alpha happy and committed.

    A woman with an alpha has no time to write a book.

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  34. This is all pretty damned trite.

    There are much better examples of (wo)man’s self-serving inhumanity to man out there.

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  35. OMG I just noticed this myself the other day.

    My ball-busting anatomy professor’s dedication:

    “This book is dedicated to my children, Evan, Ethan, and Mary Lauren Bee, and to my wonderful and incredibly supportive husband, James Bee.”

    Her name is Dr. Mary Tracy-Bee. Notice how she uses her husband’s full name in the dedication: James Bee. It’s to distinguish herself from her husband. I am Tracy-Bee and my husband is Bee. Can’t even take her beta husband’s last name.

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  36. Gorb I agree, but Namke’s list of aphorisms just made this thread a classic.

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  37. Virtue in women is often merely love of their reputation and their peace of mind.

    Women are all bought in the market – from the whore to the Princess. The price alone is different, and the highest price, in money or rank, obtains the woman.

    devastating – pure and refined.

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  38. I have never heard a woman say, “I don’t know what he sees in me.”

    Most men are fools.

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  39. Meh. The sample size for this post’s claim is so small as to be useless. I even looked at the top ten best sellers on Amazon and couldn’t come to any conclusions or even generalizations regarding the dedications by author’s sex.

    One thing I will generalize is that women profess “love” for a much wider variety of people: for family, friends, favorite celebrities, whomever. Men have a smaller but more intense focus of affection: typically just wife and close family (and God if religious).

    Are women more loving than men, or just less discriminate and more diffuse in their affections?

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  40. My boyfriend–The Most Decent Man I Have Ever Known. Implied meaning–all the rest are scum. I tolerate him, despite his betaness, because he encourages me to ‘find myself’, i.e. let’s me do whatever I want. Eventually, I’ll kick him to the curb too!

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  41. A woman with an alpha has no time to write a book.

    Corollary – to act like the alpha in your relationship, keep your woman engaged pleasing you.

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  42. knepper

    I tolerate him, despite his betaness, because he encourages me to ‘find myself’, i.e. let’s me do whatever I want. Eventually, I’ll kick him to the curb too!

    In this thinking process you can almost catch a direct glimpse of the hampster. Because she tells herself, and others that she loves her beta. Except in the moments when she does the opposite.

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  43. […] Sex Differences In Book Dedications « Citizen Renegade. […]

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  44. on December 8, 2010 at 11:25 pm betondo fuchatuch

    Xsplat,

    Big thanks for that swerve into country music. Regarding such…

    Did you notice that alpha men sing about living life, building and owning shit, good beer, trucks, dawgs and hot women (my kindapeepo), and never gush on painfully about any particular woman – especially not one that left him. That domain is reserved for…

    Betas, who constantly whine, cry and bleed gouts of auditory blood all over our ears for her to come back to him. He’ll change ANYTHING (his dress, address, boots, the drapes and sheets, scrambled to poached) – anyfuckingthing if she would just ring that phone. But she won’t, because today’s…

    Modern country chicks get their mega-million selling cds from angrily bitching about her alpha piece on the side cheating, hangin out late, not calling and general unwillingness to shed his alphaness and become the man she wants him to be (instead of the man she married) – until she leaves his ass one day. Sing it children: which brings us back to Do…

    An astute microcosm of real life north American male-female interaction, if you ax me (blackman lingo – no charge), where the only one who suffers interminably is the beta (in relationships anyway – if he can Garth Brooks it or Vince Gill it, he’ll make a ton).

    You’d have to really dig to find women who’ll sacrifice their career to repeatedly put the virtues of her man to song. And I mean literally dig, too – Wynette doesn’t tour much anymore.

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  45. […] – “Sex Differences in Book Dedications“, “Is Spain the Worst Country in the World for Players?“, “The Assange […]

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  46. @ betondo fuchatuch

    Yeah i’ve noticed that too, how every every love song a woman sings is written for an alpha, yet love songs sung by men* are from the POV of the lovelorn beta.

    (* – Unless “Bitches Aint Shit” qualifies as a love song.)

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  47. This is silly and a good example of already having an answer before you even ask the question.

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