Quote Of The Hour

“Motherhood has always been the best remedy for female narcissism.”
– F. Roger Devlin

More on his incisive essays tomorrow.





Comments


  1. So, um, what’s so bad about female narcissism?

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  2. I just read his essay “Sexual Utopia in Power” a few days ago. He is dead on for the most part, except for this:

    “It is child’s play to show that this cannot be true. There is roughly the same number of male as female children (not quite: there are about 5 percent more live male births than female—there is not a girl for every boy.) What happens
    when female sexual desire is liberated is not an increase in the total amount of sex available to men, but a redistribution of the existing supply. Society becomes polygamous. A situation emerges in which most men are desperate for wives, but many women are just as desperately throwing themselves at a very few exceptionally attractive men. These men, who have always found it easy to get a mate, now get multiple mates.”

    Of course, I’ve been saying this in my comments all along, but it isn’t quite right to say that “there is not a girl for every boy”. While it is true that there are about 105 boys born for every 100 girls, by the time they reach marriageable (or at least matable) age, the numbers are a lot closer. Young males die in larger numbers than young females, from illness as well as a greater propensity to engage in risky behavior.

    Furthermore, this ratio assumes that all pairings will be of individuals of exactly the same age. In fact, the typical American marriage pattern involves a groom 2-3 years older than the bride, and that hasn’t changed much over the years. Thus, the market for women is determined by the number of men born 2-3 years earlier. This explains the “marriage squeeze” of the 70’s and 80’s when women born in the increasingly larger cohorts of the first Baby Boom wave found fewer men available. It also explains the reverse when the tail-end Baby Boom men (1957-64) came of age and found fewer Baby Bust (1965-1976) women around.

    Things have reversed yet again since the 90’s, with the larger cohorts of the “Echo” (1977-1990) coming of age. This model will hold unless and until cougarhood is widely accepted. I don’t think it will be because it will be considered a sign of failure for a young man to mate with someone beyond her fertile years.

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  3. but many women are just as desperately throwing themselves at a very few exceptionally attractive men. These men, who have always found it easy to get a mate, now get multiple mates.

    I’ve never understood why this is deemed to be better. For all intents and purposes, while the alpha males are still attracting the best women, the average male still gets stuck with the sub par beauty and sexual output of the average woman. As I’ve stated on multiple occasions ad nauseum, being single is far better than dealing with the average woman from before or after the sexual revolution as a sexual partner. Sadly, most men are so desperate for sex, they’ll degrade themselves by settling for the first ugly creature that says yes while their female counterparts are capable of holding out forever.

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  4. It’s the moment for Devlin, I guess.

    Looking forward to your posting about him.

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  5. After reading Devlin I remember someone once saying that the sixties sexual revolution is analogous to what happened in Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
    Those who were rich anyway (in sexual opportunity) became hugely wealthy. While those who were poor, slid into destitution.
    (It might have been Houllebecq who said this)

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  6. dont feed roissy free ideas, make him work a little .))

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  7. I’ve noted earlier that the skewed dating ratio is the result of 18-45-year-old men competing for 18-27-year-old women. In my observation, most divorced or single women over 35 show little interest in dating, especially if they’re financially OK.

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  8. Agreed on Michel Houellebecq. Anyobe who has interest in the kinds of things this blog discusses needs to read his first two novels, “Whatever” and “Elementary Particles.”

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  9. Cher Roissy,

    I discovered your blog a fews weeks ago and after the first reaction: “he is like all this poor guys who want a revenge on their mother, female teacher, babysitter!!!….. I don’t know!”.
    The reading of some articles makes me change my mind.
    It could save many men from traps and in fact it will make relashionships between men and women more simple.

    Thank you. Goodbye.

    PS: Comme tu as dû le comprendre, je suis français : désolé d’avoir massacré la langue anglaise.

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  10. on July 23, 2008 at 1:12 pm Usually Lurking

    So, um, what’s so bad about female narcissism?

    Oh Jesus Christ! Just go to the local prison and ask one of the gang-bangers in Cell Block D to fuck you in the ass already. This is obviously what you are looking for.

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  11. I’ll co-sign the Houllebecq reccomendation. Me, I think of it as comic-despairing exaggeration, but it sounds like for some of you it’s just the raw documentary truth. Scary.

    As for narcissism … We all have some of it, we all need it. We all experience a fair amount of it in ourselves, especially during adolescence. But in some people narcissism takes over the entire personality and becomes … well, “toxic” is a corny word but not bad in this case. Anyway, the real narcissists, male or female, are sociopaths, and very destructive creatures. They will suck your life-force out of you, chew it up, spit it out, and move on to their next victim.

    Learn more about narcissism from the fascinating Sam Vaknin.

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  12. Apropos of this discussion, I should recount a very interesting, indeed almost shocking, conversation I overheard at the gym last night. While engaged in a rather mediocre bench press session, I could easily hear two men at the nearby S***h machine talking about their dating experiences. Of course that got my attention. One of them said he was thinking about joining Match.com but was a little uncertain if it was worth the money. The other man, who seemed to be an acquaintance rather than an actual friend, said that he already was a member.

    And what the member said next shocked me no less than the sight of a dozen (unshaved) naked supermodels would have. The man who was the member said he had been “all kinds of women” through Match.com, to the point where he sometimes had to juggle dating two or more at the same time. He said he’s now seen the latest woman four times and thinks that the relationship may be developing very well. Now, it’s conventional wisdom that outfits like Match.com are total sausage parties, with women being deluged with hundreds of responses while men get nothing but solicitations from hookers, transvestites and MOB scammers. Yet this man seems to be doing very well for himself.

    Now, it’s not as if this man’s dating market value appeared sky-high, at least on the surface. We keep hearing about how nothing gets ovaries churning out estrogen like men who are taller than average. Mr. “all kinds of women” was definitely a bit shortchanged (so to speak) in the tallness department. He was decently well built, being a semi-regular at the gym as best I could recall, but was no more than 5’7″ or 5’8″ tops. Of course he could exaggerate a little on the online profile, but even adding three inches would only get him to normal male height. Also, while he was by no means a freak or anything, it’s not as if looking at his picture would spur a moist-panty epidemic. He had a large, almost hooked nose, rather thick lips, and ears that while not Dumbo-like stuck out a bit more than they should have. And here’s the clincher – he was not young. I’d place him at 35 or even a bit older. By that age, a man’s Dating Market Value is in decline.

    Of course this guy might have had a very high-paying job, but chances are that wasn’t the case, if for no other reason than most people don’t have jobs like that.

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  13. All heterosexual people are more likely to be conscious of the narcissism of the opposite sex than of their own. It’s silly to suggest that one sex is worse than the other that way.

    Motherhood doesn’t prevent narcissism in women who are inclined towards that condition already. It just gives them new outlets for expressing it. (My pronouns are a little ambiguous but I think my meaning is clear.)

    Clio

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  14. 13: “Motherhood doesn’t prevent narcissism in women who are inclined towards that condition already. It just gives them new outlets for expressing it.”

    I’d go so far as to say that the ones who are the most narcissistic are actually the ones who *shouldn’t* breed, as they’re so profoundly unfit for the job.

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  15. Hearsay from the world of dog owners: having a litter takes the puppy out of a bitch.

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  16. Motherhood doesn’t prevent narcissism in women who are inclined towards that condition already. It just gives them new outlets for expressing it.

    Most women are always trying to reforge those around her in her own image (I am not immune to this). Perhaps this is an outlet of narcissism, or perhaps it’s typical human behavior. See Sara on this blog, who, rather than accepting people as they are, often becomes preachy about new age authors. More examples of such behavior: “You don’t like the same music that I do? What’s wrong with you?”

    If a mother does not have a husband, relatives and several children around to disperse her efforts at controlling, she will focus all her attention on one, invariably causing a great deal of resentment. Motherhood is not a cure-all for a woman who is not self-aware and who usually blames other people before herself. A woman who does not reflect upon her own actions will be a poor mother (at least emotionally and psychologically).

    My mother attempted to do this to me when she was raising me, demanding that I excel in math when I was obviously better at visual/artistic/linguistic pursuits. She had (or believed she had) great math skills in school, so she insisted that I study harder to pick up my SAT math score when I had a nearly perfect SAT verbal score, though English is not my native tongue.

    One of my biggest fears is being a bad mother.

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  17. I recently discovered this guy through 2 Blowhards. Looking forward to seeing your take on him.

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  18. Clio:
    Of course both men and women can be narcissistic, but that doesn’t mean that one group cannot tend to be more so than the other. Because of different evolutionary pressures on males and females, it is _extremely_ unlikely that this trait, focussing on the self, would be evenly distributed between the sexes.

    Because women can bear children, they have value just by the bare fact of existing and therefore, it is no wonder that they are so focussed on themselves. They _are_ valuable. A man, on the other hand, must engage the world to give himself value. If he doesn’t _do_ something, he is toast on the mating market. And therefore men are much more likely to view themselves, and their bodies, almost purely as instruments for acting in the world.

    Keep in mind that the tendency of females to focus on the self is _not_ necessarily a bad thing; for the most part, young women _should_ be focussed on the most valuable thing they bring to the table on the mating market, themselves. The problem comes in when society as a caters excessively to female self absorbtion.

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  19. Just go to the local prison and ask one of the gang-bangers in Cell Block D to fuck you in the ass already.

    I assure you that if I was gay, I would be talking about the great sex that I’m having…

    Most women are always trying to reforge those around her in her own image

    A perfect example of this is Wellesley Queen’s attempts to try and mold me into a high-achieving alpha male. Once her attempts failed in this department, I magically became a loser not worth her time and attention.

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  20. No offense, but Peter and DA do sound a little bit gay to me. Peter has prison rape fantasies, and DA doesn’t make serious efforts to meet women.

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  21. No offense, but Peter and DA do sound a little bit gay to me. Peter has prison rape fantasies

    Prison rape fantasies? My only fantasies concern thick, rich, luxuriant Glorious Natural Pelts, brimming with limitless arrays of luscious aromas and flavors.

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  22. Because women can bear children, they have value just by the bare fact of existing and therefore, it is no wonder that they are so focussed on themselves. They _are_ valuable. A man, on the other hand, must engage the world to give himself value.

    What complicates that simple model is the fact that women today can expect to live for decades after menopause. If we are to accept this model, it follows that a woman who has passed the age of childbearing becomes just like a man, in that she has to engage the world to have value.

    Note, I consider the model too simplistic.

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  23. she has to engage the world to have value.

    To stay with simple models, post-menapausal women helped their young daughters raise the grandchildren.

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  24. Sorry, Thursday, but I think that’s nonsense, even in the terms of evolutionary psychology that you insist on using. Women’s natural disposition (perhaps), and social training, even today, requires us to listen to people, to pay attention to what they say, to remember their likes and dislikes, and to try to please others. The fact that some men (esp. on this board) don’t appear to notice this makes me suspect – guess what – that they are rather narcissistic themselves. And there are some men who do notice it – I don’t think that your opinion on the subject is characteristic of men in general. (Who’s going out to check on the elderly relative every day? Who’s making food after a death in a neighbour’s family? Ask most men and they know that the answer is likely to be “a woman”.)

    Even in purely female society, a woman who talks too much or too loudly (as I know from experience), who pronounces an opinion that others disagree with and – much worse – insists on holding forth about it, is likely to be severely condemned by other women.

    This tends to be true of women in their dealings with men, too: no woman who is not a good listener gets very far with men, in my observation. Men may be attentive enough to women’s opinions and talk in the early stages of courtship, but after that they tend to stop paying any attention at all to women’s conversation. I have seen this so often in marriages, including that of my parents, that it would take a great deal to persuade me otherwise.

    I know that postmodern social mores, and certain strands of feminism, have persuaded some younger women to be more self-involved and narcissistic. Still, I don’t see any sign that they have grown worse than young men in this respect. Men certainly get some of their self-worth from careers, but on the other hand, I’ve known many young men who, without jobs or prospects, seem to live untroubled by any need to do anything to help their parents, wives, or children, or any feelings of guilt about not doing so.

    Clio

    p.s. The fact that in general women write more about themselves than about “issues” on their blogs says nothing about their self-absorption, as I’ve seen some men here claim. Usually it’s because a woman is less likely to be convinced that anyone will be interested in the ramblings of some stranger about public affairs and political issues. Those women who do write a little about public matters – like me – are usually the ones who’ve had some early experience in debating men on “their” turf.

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  25. narcissism is the result of risk aversion. a narcissist sees no safe place but herself to invest her own and other’s love. the problem of this investment strategy is that it is trapped in a low-happiness equilibrium. in order to be thrilled one has to be surprised. (self-masturbation is never as fun as being masturbated by someone else. and masturbation is rarely as fun as having sex with someone.) it is easier for a woman to view her child as an extension of herself and therefore diversifying her love to the little smelly thing. the surprises brought by the experience thrills the woman so much initially that she sees no risk but gains from a complete diversion of love from herself to her child. until the child starts to rebel, that is, the woman would be in a damage-control mode because of all her vested interests. the experience will exhaust her from having any self-love. unfortunately, a cure for male narcissism has not been found so a narcissistic man is likely to remain narcissistic for life and becomes increasingly unhappy because of his addiction to love. a cure may be found in our understanding of seahorses, the only species that allows a male to bear children.

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  26. Clio:

    On a more general note, I love you, but please stop defending the female sex to the death on every issue. Women tend to have certain flaws and weaknesses which men are less likely to have (and vice versa). Devlin appears to actively dislike women, something I find quite unattractive in his essays, but your attempts to defend the honour of the female sex frequently approach the ludicrous. For example the comment thred beginning here.

    So, essentially, women helped spread and implement ideas that _men_ had come up with. Again, DOBA’s question arises, why is it that it was almost always men who came up with these ideas?

    Such arguments remind me of attempts to make Nora Joyce somehow the co-author of Ulysses, because her husband would have been a much less productive writer without her management of the household. Of course women _helped_, but they were not the prime movers and of course DOBA is right that women’s contribution to the literary, scientific, and engineering feats that have made Western Civ is pretty miniscule. The monks of the Middle Ages, frequently without the help of women like Nora Joyce, were enormously productive. Female help has undoubtedly made men _more_ productive, but men would have gotten there anyway.

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  27. Agree on the Houellebecque, but remember he’s a bit of a controversy-seeking misanthrope. And, for all that, the characters he depicts as hopeless are both ugly and devoid of charm, whereas the average muddler hero (in “Whatever” and “Elementary Particles”) still evokes interest from at least some woman. “500 Euros for a suit from C&R, and I can put together a reasonable approximation of an upper-level exec”, muses Bruno. “The problem is that I’m not sufficiently ANIMAL.” This from a man who is described as “egotistical and gentle”, a semi-pedophile (try teaching in a high school in France), and a semi-nutcase.

    In contrast, Devlin just makes me want to cry at the sheer sisyphean burden of dealing with women. A few other websites like JDatersanonymous.com hint at men being “priced out” of the dating market by the unrestrained tendency towards hypergamy of various subcultures. I suppose the issue for DA is whether he wants to date at his socio-economic rather than intellectual level: a few fat/ugly chicks are no great shakes in the grand scheme of things. Then again, I’m having to juggle an abundance of jiggles. (If you’re used to NOTHING, scheduling problems come up HARD and FAST.)

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  28. I’m sorry, but anyone who says that women are not more narcissistic than men is living in a dream world. Yes, women can be very altruistic, but altruism is not the opposite of narcissism, in fact, the two can go together quite nicely, as anyone who has ever known a great “humanitarian” can attest. Men and women both tend to have characteristic faults, and there is nothing wrong with pointing this out. Narcissism tends to be a female trait, just as violence tends to be male.

    By the way, I’ll be Devlin went through a VERY nasty divorce…

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  29. Who’s going out to check on the elderly relative every day? Who’s making food after a death in a neighbour’s family? Ask most men and they know that the answer is likely to be “a woman”.

    An older woman, usually one who has had children.

    Usually it’s because a woman is less likely to be convinced that anyone will be interested in the ramblings of some stranger about public affairs and political issues.

    Bullshit. Women are much less likely to be intersted in public affairs and political issues, period.

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  30. 28: “Narcissism tends to be a female trait, just as violence tends to be male.”

    From Wikipedia’s entry about Narcissistic Personality Disorder: “Lifetime prevalence is estimated at 1% in the general population and 2% to 16% in clinical populations. 50 to 75% of those with this diagnosis are men.”

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  31. #29 – oh? And what about single women like me, who find ourselves in charge of an elderly father and mentally ill brother? We aren’t that rare, and I’d bet my last dollar that we’re more common than our male equivalents.

    It’s true that women are in general less likely to be interested in public affairs, but that isn’t in itself a sign of selfishness or self-absorption. I stand by what I say: many women (but by no means a majority) lack the confidence to assert their views in public, or any conviction that such self-assertion matters.

    Meanwhile, men’s interest in these things is not an automatic marker of public-spiritedness, either. Such interest can be as much a sign of egotism, of the desire to make a mark and make one’s voice heard, as it is of any other more attractive trait.

    clio

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  32. Clio:

    Please read again:
    An older woman, usually one who has had children.

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  33. Ha. I’m not really an “older woman” yet, as far as the providers of informal social service are concerned. Most of them are women in their 50s or 60s.

    I quarrelled with your use of the word “usually” because single women, too, are quite likely to be involved in this kind of care-giving. More so than married women with children, in fact, because unless the children are grown, married women don’t usually have as much free time as their unmarried counterparts.

    clio

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  34. ““Motherhood has always been the best remedy for female narcissism.”
    – F. Roger Devlin”

    This is rather true statement unless the woman in question is a pathological narcissist. Some say there is no cure for that in either gender, but am not one to believe in stupid limits.

    Motherhood for me was akin to being on a freight train going at maximum speed and having to suddenly put it in reverse. It changed me forever, and I would not undo it for the entire world; cliche that that is. To say it brings you down a notch is an understatement, but it brings a woman down to earth, and brings a softness to her demeanor. It forces a level of unselfishness that if you don’t succumb to, you will destroy any possibility of a healthy relationship with your child, and handicap the child.

    Babies are unbelievably beautiful, and a huge pain in the ass. Having a child is part of many women’s romantic fantasies and it is no fantasy. It is reality at it’s worst and finest. The trick is being right in the middle of those two extremes. I don’t express it well. Like sex, you have to experience it to understand and nothing is more sexual!

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  35. I’m not really an “older woman” yet, as far as the providers of informal social service are concerned.

    Uh, I think this proves my point. The fact that someone in their 40s is considered young for this kind of work means that it is something done by older women. Women in their reproductive prime (15-35) just don’t usually want to have much to do with any of this.

    married women don’t usually have as much free time as their unmarried counterparts.

    And yet, for example, in my office, the married ladies with kids do a hell of a lot more of the soup kitchen, mission trip, charity organizing stuff etc. than the younger single girls. Again, maybe older single women (and by that I mean 35+) do even more, but not the young ones.

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  36. As an addendum to my previous comments, it should be noted that aging also tends to remedy female narcissism.

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  37. Being a mother physically alters a woman’s brain. Women who have had children often comment on how radically less self centred it made them.

    A good read on this is Louann Brizendine’s The Female Brain.

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  38. Roissy: the benefactor of motherhood!!!

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  39. I’m just going to say that clio’s right since otherwise she’d get no one agreeing with her here.

    Really, what planet are you guys living on?

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  40. #36 Thursday
    As an addendum to my previous comments, it should be noted that aging also tends to remedy female narcissism.

    It remedies — or at least reduces — narcissism in everybody. Think about it: Aren’t there far fewer 50-year-olds whom you immediately want to kick in the crotch than 20-year-olds? Sure, there are exceptions, but they’re just that: exceptions.

    About the quote in Roissy’s post: It’s interesting that Roissy consistently prescribes behaviors he considers beneficial to women that are in direct opposition to his own self-interest — that is, if women take his advice and commit to monogamous marriages, he’ll have seriously damaged his ability to act like a cad. Wouldn’t that amount to a tacit admission that caddishness is an inherently destructive behavior vis-a-vis women and society?

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  41. “Uh, I think this proves my point.”

    No, Thursday, not quite. Here’s a helpful chart, based on my own observation and not scientific, but at least it will show you what I meant:

    – Single “girls” 18-25: altruism low
    – Single women 25-35: altruism moderate (listening to friends, cooking dinners for them, etc.)
    – Young married women 20-35: altruism moderate (helping other married friends)
    – Mothers 20-50: altruism moderate unless you count her efforts for her husband and children as altruistic, in which case it rises to “high”
    – Single women 35+: altruism high
    – Married women 55+: altruism: high

    – Single “boys” 18-25: altruism non-existent, rare exceptions, er, excepted (military service does count here)
    – Single men 25-35: altruism low
    – Married men 25-55: altruism non-existent
    – Single men 35+: altruism moderate
    – Married men 55+: altruism moderate (higher if they are religious and involved in a service network)

    Clio

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  42. 21 Peter

    Do you have a favorite flavor?

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  43. No, Thursday, not quite.

    Again Clio, don’t change the terms of the argument.

    Remember the original point was this:

    YOU: Who’s going out to check on the elderly relative every day? Who’s making food after a death in a neighbour’s family? Ask most men and they know that the answer is likely to be “a woman”.

    ME: An older woman, usually one who has had children.

    I will make this crystal clear for you. Two things make a woman more likely to do the kind of work you described above:

    1. Getting older
    2. Having children

    Point #2 is mitigated by the fact that children take up lots of time.

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  44. Single “boys” 18-25: altruism non-existent, rare exceptions, er, excepted (military service does count here)
    Single men 25-35: altruism low
    Married men 25-55: altruism non-existent
    Single men 35+: altruism moderate

    Volunteer fire departments are a relatively minor but not insignificant exception to these low male altruism levels. While ostensibly open to both genders, the departments in my area (which I doubt are un-representative) are overwhelmingly male, with women shunted off to “ladies’ auxiliaries” or similar organizations. The members cover a fairly wide age spectrum up to about the early to middle 50’s, after which the numbers seem to drop off. As for marital status, I would guess that most members are married, if only because the suburban and rural areas which have volunteer departments generally don’t have as many single residents as cities. In short, most volunteer firefighters are in the non-existent or low altruism categories.

    It used to be the case that many men joined volunteer fire departments as much for the social aspects as for the purely altruistic aspects. That’s probably the case less and less often today, as the training requirements in most states have become quite onerous.

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  45. – Single women 25-35: altruism moderate (listening to friends, cooking dinners for them, etc.)
    – Young married women 20-35: altruism moderate (helping other married friends)

    The rest of your chart for women is OK but the above is not very convincing.

    Two points:
    1. Young guys do a hell of a lot for their buddies and do so pretty unconditionally, unlike women, so I don’t really think that counts much in womens favour. Being part of the pack is a pretty cool thing.
    2. What does this have to do with shitty, often unrewarding work like taking care of old people and the mentally ill? Almost everybody does stuff for friends.

    Better:
    – Single women 25-35: altruism still pretty low (listening to friends, cooking dinners for them, etc.)
    – Young married women 20-35: altruism still pretty low (helping other married friends)

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  46. Well, the original, original point was that women in general are supposedly in need of the de-narcissizing effect of having children (Roissy and Devlin), otherwise, the implication was, they are likely to be hopelessly self-absorbed and self-admiring.

    I tried to point out, first, that men are no less narcissistic than women (which won a diatribe from you based on a past post you misunderstood), and later, that women are generally perceived, outside this blog, as more likely to take care of others than men. At which point you came in again to tell me that these are generally (not invariably, yes I know) older, married women; I said, not really, and mentioned myself. You told me I was older. I said, not really, as these things go. You said, that proves my point. I said, not really; here’s what I meant. And provided a list to make my point clearer.

    I haven’t changed the terms of the argument at all. I’m still back quarreling with Roissy’s original point, and trying to suggest that it is simply wrong-headed. I was outraged by his suggestion that women need motherhood to become less narcissistic. In arguing that merely getting older makes women less self-absorbed, you have already half-conceded to me.

    clio

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  47. Where is agnostic to map out the details of agreeableness and concientiousness, in men and women, through different ages?

    I’d also ask him not to forget to include any data on how having children changes these traits, in men and women, if available.

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  48. Pardon me, but what is all this statistical bullshit about who is more altruistic, men or women? What are the determinants?

    Altruism is defined as: the belief in or practice of disinterested and selfless concern for the well-being of others. Zoology behavior of an animal that benefits another at its own expense.”

    Virtually every living thing acts out of self interest. It’s completely impossible to do otherwise. Every living thing wants to feel good or better and avoid pain and suffering. How that is achieved varies greatly depending on the health/sickness of an organism/human, social conditioning, biology, physical realities, etc. True altruism does not even exist.

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  49. 1. Young guys do a hell of a lot for their buddies and do so pretty unconditionally, unlike women, so I don’t really think that counts much in womens favour. Being part of the pack is a pretty cool thing.

    Doing things for your buddies isn’t necessarily altruistic even if you don’t expect any direct favors in return. It may allow you to be accepted within the pack, which is, as you correctly state, a pretty cool thing. Social acceptance is a strong intangible benefit that makes the favor-doing more than mere altruism.

    2. What does this have to do with shitty, often unrewarding work like taking care of old people and the mentally ill? Almost everybody does stuff for friends.

    A 65-year-old woman who checks up on her 85-year-old neighbor is likely to get no benefits at all in return, it’s not going to get her admitted to a desirable social circle or anything. Hence it’s more altrusitic than is winging for your buddy in a nightclub.

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  50. Peter @ 12 has been ignored in this thread, but let’s change that.

    Your story is totally believable to me. As I’ve commented earlier: Even if they are 40-60 yrs old (or sometimes older), men with most of their teeth and who bathe at least once a week are going to be quite successful with women on match.com. Pure demographics; a cat will only take a woman so far. Furthermore, such men are no longer forced to limit themselves to older women (thanks again, feminists). Roissy and friends, they’re coming for your girls too!

    Re: narcissists.

    I would take a narcissist any time over a woman with borderline personality disorder……..

    Michael Blowhard:

    Love your blog. That’s where I heard about and then read Devlin.

    Like


  51. on July 23, 2008 at 7:27 pm johnny five

    #46 clio
    so yeah, you write really well, but:

    men are no less narcissistic than women

    as a resident of the western hemisphere, you can’t possibly believe what these words actually say.

    as a sop to you, i’ll grant that this statement MAY be true if you’re limiting it to people under 25, or, more appropriately in your case, to the cloistered, self-absorbed denizens of academia’s ivory towers.

    outside of those particular milieux, though, our society quickly does its best to stomp out the narcissism of men – at least the 99+% of men who aren’t rich, handsome playboys – while condoning, if not outright fomenting, the narcissism of women.

    two questions:
    (1) of women over thirty, what % do you think are likely to properly accept blame for self-imposed problems in their lives?
    (2) of men over thirty, what % do you think are likely to properly accept blame for self-imposed problems in their lives?

    if you deny that (1) is substantially less than (2), then you are living in a dream world.

    At which point you came in again to tell me that these are generally (not invariably, yes I know) older, married women; I said, not really, and mentioned myself.

    sweetie, you may well be a welcome exception to the rule, but anecdotes don’t disprove general observations.

    Like


  52. I’m in my twenties, so men off all ages are behind women of my generation: the best thing for twentysomething males is therefore to date teen girls.

    Like


  53. 44: “It used to be the case that many men joined volunteer fire departments as much for the social aspects as for the purely altruistic aspects. That’s probably the case less and less often today, as the training requirements in most states have become quite onerous.”

    Onerous they may be (although once the initial training is completed, how onerous is the upkeep?) but I still think the social aspects outweigh the purely altruistic aspects in volunteers. And on the basis of my own observation, I’d say the thrill-seeking aspect of the actual fire-fighting trumps them both.

    Like


  54. At which point you came in again to tell me that these are generally (not invariably, yes I know) older, married women;

    Read again:

    YOU: Who’s going out to check on the elderly relative every day? Who’s making food after a death in a neighbour’s family? Ask most men and they know that the answer is likely to be “a woman”.

    ME: An older woman, usually one who has had children.

    I’m still back quarreling with Roissy’s original point, and trying to suggest that it is simply wrong-headed.

    When you say, “No, Thursday, not quite” it’s pretty clear you are arguing with me on a specific point. Not Roissy.

    Let’s reprise this, using our actual words, not summaries:

    YOU: I’m not really an “older woman” yet, as far as the providers of informal social service are concerned.

    ME: Uh, I think this proves my point. The fact that someone in their 40s is considered young for this kind of work means that it is something done by older women. Women in their reproductive prime (15-35) just don’t usually want to have much to do with any of this.

    ———————————————————————-

    Again nothing you have written contradicts my assertion that women under 35 without children are not particularly interested in work like taking care of old people or the mentally ill.

    May I repeat myself again:

    I will make this crystal clear for you. Two things make a woman more likely to do the kind of work you described above:

    1. Getting older
    2. Having children

    Point #2 is mitigated by the fact that children take up lots of time.

    Like


  55. Peter @49

    The discussion was about women 20-35. For both points, #1 and #2, I was comparing young men 20-35 with women 20-35. Sorry if that wasn’t clear.

    Like


  56. 51: “outside of those particular milieux, though, our society quickly does its best to stomp out the narcissism of men – at least the 99+% of men who aren’t rich, handsome playboys – while condoning, if not outright fomenting, the narcissism of women.”

    You’ve got to be kidding! In a world where every hairy-backed troll living in his parents’ basement thinks he’s entitled to the endless devotion of a Heidi Klum-lookalike who loves sex, never ages, and can also cook…where women are inundated with a constant stream of media input detailing their insufficiency on every possible level: wives; mothers; sex objects; professionals…where a ridiculous percentage of normal 10-year-old girls are on dangerously restrictive diets because they’ve already started internalizing the message that a) that’s all they have to offer, and b) it will never good enough?!

    Like


  57. 52: “I’m in my twenties, so men off all ages are behind women of my generation: the best thing for twentysomething males is therefore to date teen girls.”

    It’s almost sort of poetic, how you manage to work every topic around to the inevitable teen-girl conclusion….

    Like


  58. on July 23, 2008 at 7:55 pm Like_My_Grandmother

    ****
    – Single women 35+: altruism high
    – Married women 55+: altruism: high
    ****
    When my grandmother’s second husband died she recieved over 20,000 dollars. She then preceded to spend it all on slot machines in six months.

    What level of altruism is that?

    Like


  59. In arguing that merely getting older makes women less self-absorbed, you have already half-conceded to me.

    I think a big problem here, is that we have to clarify what we mean by “women.” When discussing “women” on this blog, what is usually meant is not 65 year old grandmothers, or 65 year old spinsters, for that matter. No, what is meant is usually young women, aged from about 18-35, sometimes stretching a bit into the 40s.

    To be blunt, women are most important to men, to society, to the species, during their reproductive years. As a result, after about 35 -45, most women pretty much just completely drop off most people’s, particularly, but not exclusively men’s, radar screens. If she isn’t a mother by then, she typically becomes all but invisible. So when Devlin writes: “Motherhood has always been the best remedy for female narcissism“ what he means is female narcissism ages 18-35.

    Aging may cure female narcissism just as well as motherhood, but only after a woman has become far less important to just about everyone outside her immediate family. It doesn’t effect the cure it when it really counts.

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  60. Johnny 5, I actually find your views about women’s narcissim as incredible as you find my views about that of men.

    Yes, I think that a certain form of feminism has taught women – some women – to play the victim card in many areas of their lives. But even with this new and unattractive habit, I still find women more likely to blame themselves for what goes wrong in their lives, even when they also blame others or look for external explanations. My experience of men is that many of them unquestioningly blame their failures on other people, though without the whininess and poor-meism that some women adopt – and as a result give them no further thought. That’s part of what makes men more resilient in certain areas of life.

    I’ve rarely met a man who blamed his loss of his job on his own failure to do the work that was required of him and do it well. It’s always the ***hole boss, if it’s a man, the “bitchy” boss, if it’s a woman. I’ve rarely met a man who blamed his loss of a particular woman on his own nasty personality. It’s always the bitchiness, the stupidity, the lack of perception on the woman’s part, that he blames. See many of the posters to this website…the most they do is blame their lack of “game” – which is, in part, a way of blaming women for their failure, women who only want alpha males.

    A woman who says, “he isn’t interested in me because I’m too smart for him” is usually thinking “I wasn’t pretty enough for him”, or “I must have been too needy.” A man who says, “she didn’t like me because she’s such a bitch” means or seems to mean (I can’t be sure) exactly what he says.

    It is true that men are less vulnerable to criticism than women are – that trait that so many posters here despise in women as a mark of our supposed narcissism- because they have tougher egos. Is it not possible that those tough egos are a mark of men’s higher self-esteem?

    But I don’t generally think women are less narcissistic than men; it just comes out differently. We are perhaps vainer about our looks and accomplishments, but the trouble with vanity is that it’s a very other-directed condition, and can be shot down in a minute in the absence of other people’s “validation”. Men’s egotism is such that it can seem, in some men, almost impervious to the most savage criticism. Churchill, Reagan, Clinton – all colossal egotists in a way impossible to almost any woman, with the exception of Maggie Thatcher. On the other hand, Lyndon Johnson, that classic macho Texan, had an almost feminine kind of vanity; that is, he needed external validation and couldn’t cope with the criticism he received for his handling of the war in Viet Nam.

    Clio

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  61. You’ve got to be kidding! In a world where every hairy-backed troll living in his parents’ basement thinks he’s entitled to the endless devotion of a Heidi Klum-lookalike who loves sex, never ages, and can also cook…where women are inundated with a constant stream of media input detailing their insufficiency on every possible level: wives; mothers; sex objects; professionals…where a ridiculous percentage of normal 10-year-old girls are on dangerously restrictive diets because they’ve already started internalizing the message that a) that’s all they have to offer, and b) it will never good enough?!

    You’re right, in a world like you describe Johnny 5 would be wrong. Lucky for us we are nowhere near living in the type of world you describe, except in the delusional imaginations of hysterical feminists.

    And as far as your 10 year olds with eating disorders go, here’s a great piece on eating disorder stats. First column are the exaggerated stats reported by feminists. Second column are the actual eating disorder stats as recorded by actual doctors and scientists.

    http://www.femininebeauty.info/naomi-wolf-eating-disorders-lies

    Percentage of American women with either bulimia or anorexia? A whopping .5%. That’s HALF OF ONE PERCENT. Hardly an epidemic.

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  62. the most they do is blame their lack of “game” – which is, in part, a way of blaming women for their failure, women who only want alpha males.

    clio, you’re confusing blame for accurately assessing reality.

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  63. Thursday, that last comment of yours is not only bullshit in its blanket condemnation of young women’s narcissism (I note that you still aren’t addressing the narcissism of young men), but is among the nastiest and most misogynistic things I’ve seen on this board. It reeks of sexual resentment.

    Clio

    Like


  64. Clio, do you work in academia or have a graduate degree?

    Like


  65. Not reading through 63 comments, but for personality measures, men score higher on the Narcissistic Personality Inventory than women do. A caveat, and maybe I’ll refine this after checking it out: the NPI shows that what is called Narcissism has two distinct factors, 1) a vanity or arrogance factor, and 2) an “I can do it by myself” component.

    The colloquial use of “narcissism” is of course the vanity component, not believing that you’re competent, rugged individualist, etc. I’ll check and see who scores higher on the vanity factor and report back…

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  66. “Dangerously restrictive diets” does not equal anorexia or bulimia. When you hear 10-year-old girls worrying about being too fat, though, while their thighs are like toothpicks, you do begin to suspect that something is out of whack with the world.

    In fairness, I believe these sorts of body anxieties are beginning to catch on among boys, too.

    Clio

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  67. I don’t understand why everyone is so worked up over who should be ascribed as most narcissistic but if I were to guess I would say guys are because women have removed the incentives to make it worth the commitment. Seems more symbiotic to me.

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  68. Clio —

    First, the tremendous growth in the beauty industry would tend to support the thesis that a lot of women are pursuing a few men. The Alpha male hypothesis.

    Which is not particularly healthy or stable. What do the losers in the mating market do? Well they employ less-satisfying substitutes, and engage in resentment towards women. Women ought to expect and prepare for a LOT OF MISOGYNY. There is little women can do about it … even assuming some woman in her thirties is interested in a man non-Alpha (her age or older) there is little she can do to assuage the years of rejection earlier. As a practical matter a woman of 35 is less beautiful and desirable than she was at 16. A man who’s large experience of women is rejection in favor of Alphas, and priced out of the marriage-relationship market will almost always express and act on resentment towards women.

    Having “skin in the game” … long-lasting and EARLY relationships with women, and having the interests of one’s wife (who is a fully equal partner and brings in half the money) and even better, DAUGHTERS makes misogyny something few men can afford or express, and more importantly, creates in them the NEED to suppress it in other men.

    Now, with great amounts of men having no skin whatsoever in the game, the only threat being beautiful young women will continue not to sleep with them (and more importantly, engage in a monogamous relationship), MISOGYNY is entirely predictable. As will, increasingly, the use of violence to “equalize” access to women. All you need to do is look to West Africa to see that writ large.

    Polygamous societies are always violent and unstable because the men priced out of them will use violence to gain access to women. Women get it in the neck first too, in some pretty horrific ways. But heck, Feminists know better and figure “what could go wrong!”

    The man commenting on his success dating wise on Match was not likely being entirely forthcoming — he was likely dating lots of 50+ women as this “Sleeping Through Craigslist” article makes clear:

    http://www.alternet.org/sex/90855/?page=entire

    In short, if women don’t like Misogyny (I would generally agree that there’s a lot of it around) they better get average men involved in the game, or simply take the bad (lots of it) in exchange for pursuing a few Alphas.

    Like


  69. “Dangerously restrictive diets” does not equal anorexia or bulimia. When you hear 10-year-old girls worrying about being too fat, though, while their thighs are like toothpicks, you do begin to suspect that something is out of whack with the world.

    In fairness, I believe these sorts of body anxieties are beginning to catch on among boys, too.

    I’m sure there are anecdotes like that, but it’s hardly evidence of any type of epidemic or widespread behavior. Especially given all the reports we hear of childhood obesity epidemics. Honestly, I think now is one of the easiest time for women to be overweight. We have whole ad campaigns dedicating a woman’s right to be fat, I mean a “real” woman.

    If kids are more preoccupied with losing weight these days, perhaps it has to do with the fact that significantly more of them these days are FAT.

    Like


  70. Whiskey, according to you, Beta men hate women because they can’t get access to them, so I don’t see that “getting average men involved in the game” is going to make things any easier for them. The Betas, again according to you, have been too damaged by years of rejection.

    Since I see so many pretty young women getting married to men whom I find unattractive, by the way, I find it hard to believe that women in general strive to marry alpha males.

    The growth in the beauty industry could as easily be explained by men’s increasing demands for physical perfection in the women they date and marry, as by women’s narcissism. In any case, haven’t you heard of “metrosexuals”? Men are beginning to equal women in physical vanity.

    clio

    Like


  71. The growth in the beauty industry could as easily be explained by men’s increasing demands for physical perfection in the women they date and marry, as by women’s narcissism. In any case, haven’t you heard of “metrosexuals”? Men are beginning to equal women in physical vanity.

    I’d say both women’s drive toward emaciation as well as men’s increasing metrosexuality is more due to the rise of the homosexual male aesthetic pushed in the media (see shows like Sex and the City and Queer Eye). Anyone who works in media can tell you about the prevalence of homosexual men and straight women in those industries. Straight men are much more forgiving of a little fat on a woman than straight women and gay men are. Compare the appearance of female high fashion models, where gay men are especially dominant in choosing images to other female sex symbols:

    http://www.femininebeauty.info/skinny-fashion-models

    Like


  72. Clio:

    The first two paragraphs of that last comment you referred to contained mostly factual statements which can be refuted or no. They imply no judgment of anyone’s true worth. Perhaps the word “cure” in the last paragraph could be considered too strong. Perhaps “corrected” would be better.

    And, uh, I actually made a qualified defense of female self-absorbtion earlier in this blog @ 18:

    Keep in mind that the tendency of females to focus on the self is _not_ necessarily a bad thing; for the most part, young women _should_ be focussed on the most valuable thing they bring to the table on the mating market, themselves. The problem comes in when society as a caters excessively to female self absorbtion.

    Female self absorbtion has it’s reasons. It’s not some arbitrary thing that women do just to piss men off or to create socially undesireable results. In the most circumstances, it helps her protect herself in the here and now and ensure the best for her children in the future.

    But the female tendency towards self absorbtion exists and it has it’s downsides.

    ————————————————————————

    In all fairness, I should say that I do generally have cheerfully low view of humanity as a whole. Both men and women are, on the whole, pretty crappy, but they are often crappy in very different ways. I am sorry if neither my reading of history nor my experience of the world permits me to exempt womankind from this general crappiness, nor to say that women are crappy in almost exactly the same way men.

    Describing specifically female crappy tendencies does not make one a mysogynist, I don’t think.

    However, in the interests of fairness, permit me to make a blatantly “misandrist” statement, all of which I wholeheartedly endorse:

    Auschwitz is a result of male tendencies towards team building, violence and systematizing. Auschwitz was a male phenonomenon. No group of females would have created anything like it. It was the result of many male tendencies, which while often useful, have their dark side.

    So, Auschwitz, pretty much completely a male thing. Yup. Various other slaughters. Yup. The Gulag. Yup. Pretty much all wars. Yup.

    ——————————————————————-

    After applying some “game” to my own romantic life, and finding a lot more success, I find that I like women a lot more, but respect what they say a lot less. Resentment tends to fade away when you understand where they are coming from, but the “reasons” they give for doing stuff are so often ridiculous backward rationalizations, and shouldn’t be taken all that seriously. Don’t get me wrong, women can think just as well as men, they just don’t like it doing it all that often.

    Remember, if women are rejecting you they aren’t rejecting you just to be bitches, they are rejecting you because you are doing a lot of really unattractive stuff. If you are acting this way, it’s as if a woman ate a case of ice cream everyday and did no exercise and still expected you to like her. It’s your fault.

    ——————————————————————–

    Finally, again, remember all these things are tendencies among groups, not descriptions of all individuals in each group. There are a large number of self absorbed men and violent women out there.

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  73. Yeah. That male vanity is now more commonly accepted doesn’t mean that it’s any less gay. It was always there, of course – just see any good selection of art from any period of history.

    Similarily, that there’s now women’s weightlifting in the olympics doesn’t mean that straight women are getting buff…

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  74. Vanity is broad — it doesn’t mean that the guy gazes at himself in the mirror. Take any successful businessman, salesman, etc. — they all think to themselves, “Everyone knows I’m the shit.” Getting shit done does not reward self-doubt.

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  75. Men score lower on all facets of the Big Five personality trait Agreeableness, one facet of which is called “modesty” — how boastful or how modest you are.

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  76. 2 Sestimabi “it will be considered a sign of failure for a young man to mate with someone beyond her fertile years.”
    Hmm…how about just plain unappealing to the young man, even if no one is watching?

    7 PA “In my observation, most divorced or single women over 35 show little interest in dating, especially if they’re financially OK.”
    Or they’re been rejected enough times to realize it’s fruitless, and have descended into the quasi-comfortable default of buying a quart of Haagen-Daz and watching “You’ve Got Mail” for the umpteenth time.

    12 Peter [discussion of overheard conversation about match.com, in which guy claimed to be getting lots of action through it]
    Wow, that *is* baffling. Would be interesting to know what his profile reads like. Presuming he’s not advertising that all comers get dinner at The Ritz, perhaps he’s dating women who are very low on the attractiveness scale?

    13 “My pronouns are a little ambiguous but I think my meaning is clear.”
    Clio, we love ya, don’t ever go away!

    21 Peter “My only fantasies concern thick, rich, luxuriant Glorious Natural Pelts, brimming with limitless arrays of luscious aromas and flavors.”
    Ah, *there’s* our Peter back! I was starting to worry Peter, it seemed like days without a GNP comment.
    A photo of silky-smooth Yuko Ogura is called for.

    42 Sara [asked Peter, after P repeated his love of the flavors/aromas of a GNP] “Do you have a favorite flavor?”
    Wouldn’t the honest answer have to be
    two-day-opened-without-being-put-in-the-fridge-sardine ?
    Please note: I am “Not Peter,” not Peter. Peter and I are not the same people. He smites Glorious Bald Eagles, whereas I worship them. The above answer is my speculation and is not him talking.

    44 Peter “It used to be the case that many men joined volunteer fire departments as much for the social aspects as for the purely altruistic aspects. That’s probably the case less and less often today, as the training requirements in most states have become quite onerous.”
    I’m skeptical. I suspect that the social (not to mention coolness…FIREfighting!) lure is strong enough that the onerous part just spices it up, makes it feel more elite. And a lot of men probably like that the bar was raised because it undoubtedly screens out some annoying people (like flighty males who can’t be bothered with the onerous hurdles).

    53 “Onerous they may be (although once the initial training is completed, how onerous is the upkeep?) but I still think the social aspects outweigh the purely altruistic aspects in volunteers. And on the basis of my own observation, I’d say the thrill-seeking aspect of the actual fire-fighting trumps them both.”
    Yeh, like’n I sayed.

    57 [in response to a Gannon post about how wise it is for males to marry down at least a decade or so] “It’s almost sort of poetic, how you [Gannon] manage to work every topic around to the inevitable teen-girl conclusion….”
    Teens? Bleh. Here’s a 21-year-old, bordering on being a crone! Neotenous poetry…sung, no less.

    “At Seventeen” was never her theme song.
    http://www.oldielyrics.com/lyrics/janis_ian/at_seventeen.html

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  77. In all fairness, I should say that I do generally have cheerfully low view of humanity as a whole. Both men and women are, on the whole, pretty crappy, but they are often crappy in very different ways. I am sorry if neither my reading of history nor my experience of the world permits me to exempt womankind from this general crappiness, nor to say that women are crappy in almost exactly the same way men.

    Jesus Murphy, Thursday, when did I ever say or hint or suggest or imply or impute or in any way raise the idea that I think women are “crappy” in the same way that men are? (Do you think, by the way, that you could drop the patronizing tone for a single minute?) I said that women and men are both narcissistic. I added, for clarity, that I think they are narcissistic in different ways.

    Meanwhile, nothing you have said addresses male narcissism – do you seriously think it doesn’t exist at all? Nothing you have said even explains in any way what you MEAN by female narcissism. Vanity? Needing reassurance? Talking about themselves?

    I find it difficult to take men here seriously on this subject because it so completely contradicts my experience of the male sex – and, it seems, that of nearly all the women I know. And you, having asked for Agnostic’s statistics on the matter, are now studiously ignoring what he said on the subject.

    As for telling me that your two paragraphs were factual statements, more bullshit. They are value judgments, no more and no less. With the exception of this board, I haven’t found that the value people place on my behaviour or opinion has diminished as I’ve grown older. Nor have I noticed much decline in the sexual value men place on me, though there is some. I still get asked for dates by handsome and successful men, with game, no less. And I still reject them if I don’t like them enough.

    Clio

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  78. Anyone who thinks men are not narcissistic obviously has not been in a gym lately. Walk into one and you’re guaranteed to see men endlessly preening in the mirrors that line the wall.

    As for volunteer fire departments, in New York State the requirements for full members (in other words, after the initial training is completed) are, IIRC, five drills at the firehouse per month, each one lasting maybe three hours. There also are at least two evening training sessions per month at the county fire academy. In total about seven evenings each month. That’s an awful lot to expect from people not motivated by a significant degree of altruism.

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  79. “Straight men are much more forgiving of a little fat on a woman than straight women and gay men are.”

    You might want to consult a fat woman about that. Or even a size 10 or 12 woman who has been mooed at in public by a group of adult males. Or alternatively, you might want to read almost any of the comments about fat women ON THIS VERY BLOG.

    Like


  80. 16 Hope

    “My mother attempted to do this to me when she was raising me, demanding that I excel in math when I was obviously better at visual/artistic/linguistic pursuits.”

    Unconditional love is wanting for a person what they want for themselves. What you describe (well meaning as your mother might have been) is conditional love.

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  81. Resentment tends to fade away when you understand where they are coming from, but the “reasons” they give for doing stuff are so often ridiculous backward rationalizations, and shouldn’t be taken all that seriously.

    Odd. That’s the attitude I learned to take to men and their own assumptions about their rationality in situations in which they were clearly driven by emotional/biological compulsions.

    And most of you don’t like thinking all that much, either. Including the supposedly bright ones.

    Clio

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  82. 12 Peter [discussion of overheard conversation about match.com, in which guy claimed to be getting lots of action through it]
    Wow, that *is* baffling. Would be interesting to know what his profile reads like. Presuming he’s not advertising that all comers get dinner at The Ritz, perhaps he’s dating women who are very low on the attractiveness scale?

    I don’t know what his standards are like, but can make some reasonable conjectures. Despite being on the short side he’s quite fit, being at least a semi-regular at the gym, so he’s probably interested in women who themselves maintain a decent level of fitness. Being fit can make a woman who’s otherwise of only mediocre attractiveness look much better. He also speaks well and seems relatively intelligent, so I doubt he’d be interested in some trailer camp skank.* Finally, as I mentioned he’s about 35, so most likely he’s interested in a woman that age or somewhat younger.

    * = if, you know, there actually were any trailer camps in the area

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  83. Jesus Murphy, Thursday, when did I ever say or hint or suggest or imply or impute or in any way raise the idea that I think women are “crappy” in the same way that men are? (Do you think, by the way, that you could drop the patronizing tone for a single minute?) I said that women and men are both narcissistic. I added, for clarity, that I think they are narcissistic in different ways.

    I must respectfully say that every time someone, on this or any other blog I have happened to read, has made a negative judgment about the average traits or abilities of women no matter how obviously true, you have gone to great lengths to defend your sex, even to the point of absurdity.

    This is indeed a negative judgment on my part against you, and I think it a fair one and will not retract it, but do not assume that anything else I have written here is also a negative judgment against you personally.

    As for telling me that your two paragraphs were factual statements, more bullshit. They are value judgments, no more and no less.

    Let’s quote myself:

    “I think a big problem here, is that we have to clarify what we mean by “women.” When discussing “women” on this blog, what is usually meant is not 65 year old grandmothers, or 65 year old spinsters, for that matter. No, what is meant is usually young women, aged from about 18-35, sometimes stretching a bit into the 40s.”

    When men talk about “women,” especially on a blog like this, what they usually mean is women 18-35, sometimes stretching into the 40s. That is a factual statement; either that is what men mean or not. I do think men _are_ making an implicit judgment about the ultimate value of women within and without those parameters when doing this, but do not assume that it is my judgment.

    When men complain about how “women” behave does any person really think they are complaining about grandmothers?

    “To be blunt, women are most important to men, to society, to the species, during their reproductive years.”

    What men thinks valuable does not equal good in some trancendant way.
    What society thinks valuable does not equal good in some trancendant way.
    What contributes to the continuation of the species does not equal good in some trancendant way.

    But men value what they value and society values what it values and if women younger than 40 don’t have babies then the species would probably die out. I do think that moral judgments as to how best to order society to a certain extent have to take men’s and society’s judgment as well as the brute biological facts as they are into account, but my judgments should not be assumed to be the same.

    “As a result, after about 35 -45, most women pretty much just completely drop off most people’s, particularly, but not exclusively men’s, radar screens. If she isn’t a mother by then, she typically becomes all but invisible.”

    Well, either this is or isn’t true. The older single women, more in their mid to late 30s, that I know seem pretty “in the background” in the way that seems to me eerily similar to many senior citizens. They have their family, some friends and their work, but most don’t seem really connected to any enterprise larger than themselves. I don’t think this means they are ultimately without value.

    “So when Devlin writes: “Motherhood has always been the best remedy for female narcissism“ what he means is female narcissism ages 18-35.”

    I do think this is what Devlin means.

    With the exception of this board, I haven’t found that the value people place on my behaviour or opinion has diminished as I’ve grown older. Nor have I noticed much decline in the sexual value men place on me, though there is some. I still get asked for dates by handsome and successful men, with game, no less. And I still reject them if I don’t like them enough.

    I think you think this is all some veiled shot at you. It isn’t.

    Also please note that in many things you are obviously an exception. I did not say that _all_ single women older than 35-45 had no value to men or society, especially those who keep up their intellectual pursuits. For example, Jane Austen and Geoge Eliot had enormous value in their forties and beyond, as have many other female writers and intellectuals. But they too are obvious exceptions. I did not write any of this as this as an attack on your womanhood. Having seen your picture I can certainly believe that you are still attractive to men and having greatly enjoyed your blog I cannot doubt that your intellectual perceptiveness makes you a valued friend and companion to all sorts of people. However, I would ask you to please be more charitable in your interpretations of what I write rather than putting the nastiest possible spin on them. I am sorry if I appeared condescending, but partly that was because I have had to try and make everything crystal clear and quote the originals, again because I don’t think you have been entirely charitable in your interpretations of what I wrote. If I have done more than that I apologize.

    As for male self absorption, I think it exists obviously, but at a much lower average level than among females.

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  84. “I find it difficult to take men here seriously on this subject because it so completely contradicts my experience of the male sex – and, it seems, that of nearly all the women I know.”

    And this says far more about your own personal perceptual filters than it does about actual objective reality.

    I’ve been reading your posts here for a while, and it’s quite clear from them that you strongly filter for female-positive and male-negative information and context.

    Which is why the men here tend to find it difficult to take you seriously on these subjects.

    Because your own behavior so completely contradicts the standards that you expect them to hold themselves.

    The common occurrence of which narcissistic hypocrisy among women in general is, in turn, a large source of the resentment and dislike that they express towards them.

    Do you see where this is going yet?

    In short, Clio, you’re particularly upset about this one in particular because of how personally close to home it’s hitting this time.

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  85. on July 24, 2008 at 3:40 am SovereignAmericanMale

    @34 sara

    “This is rather true statement unless the woman in question is a pathological narcissist. Some say there is no cure for that in either gender, but am not one to believe in stupid limits.

    Motherhood for me was akin to being on a freight train going at maximum speed and having to suddenly put it in reverse. It changed me forever, and I would not undo it for the entire world; cliche that that is. To say it brings you down a notch is an understatement, but it brings a woman down to earth, and brings a softness to her demeanor. It forces a level of unselfishness that if you don’t succumb to, you will destroy any possibility of a healthy relationship with your child, and handicap the child”

    Once again I find myself in total agreement with you.
    (mercury being the other issue)

    I love your contribution (Re: post 34), and appreciate your continuing presence here. Please feel “validated” by me.

    48 sara

    “Altruism is defined as: the belief in or practice of disinterested and selfless concern for the well-being of others.”

    Yes, you may have just stated a fact, although the definition seems incomplete.

    “True altruism does not even exist.”

    No, this is not a fact.
    You don’t have the proof to substantiate such a claim.

    You as a limited human being cannot sample all human interactions, to verify such a claim.

    You also discount the ability of non human intelligence to act in an altruistic capacity.

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  86. Acksiom, what are you talking about? “your own behavior so completely contradicts the standards that you expect them to hold themselves…The common occurrence of which narcissistic hypocrisy among women in general is, in turn, a large source of the resentment and dislike that they express towards them.”

    How does my behaviour contradict the standards that I expect them [men?] to hold themselves? Have you read my blog at all? It’s often very critical of women, and it often defends men.

    Men on this site take my words a good deal more seriously than they take those of other women – although I don’t think they’re necessarily fair to other women in doing so. Hey, Roissy has me on his blog roll.

    Clio

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  87. You display nowhere near the acceptance of their views that you insist upon for their own.

    You also consistently ignore their reports of their personal experience yet cite your own as proof invalidating their resultant conclusions.

    That’s two, for a start. If you’ll demonstrate the good faith of admitting to those, then I’ll go on to generously provide you with further aspects of personal improvement to address.

    If not, then you’re not to be taken seriously; you’re just here to get your mad on and work your e-spot until you get your argumentative rocks sufficiently off, and I really just can’t be bothered to pretend to have an adult conversation with you.

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  88. DA doesn’t make serious efforts to meet women.

    DA doesn’t due to the desexuality in the average female.

    I suppose the issue for DA is whether he wants to date at his socio-economic rather than intellectual level

    For all intents and purposes, I’m holding out for a white girl, so until I finish college and get a kick-ass high paying job, the non-embarrassing and non-trashy white girls are off-limits. If I’m going to hang around a sexless female and parade her around for social approval, then I need a “good girl”.

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  89. on July 24, 2008 at 7:07 am Tupac Chopra

    @Clio #63

    “Thursday, that last comment of yours is not only bullshit in its blanket condemnation of young women’s narcissism (I note that you still aren’t addressing the narcissism of young men), but is among the nastiest and most misogynistic things I’ve seen on this board. It reeks of sexual resentment. ”

    There was not a damn bit of value judgment in Thursday’s post — nothing but a series of factual observations, albeit observations that…mmmmmm…cut a little close to the bone shall we say?

    As far as your comment about his eloquent explication being “among the nastiest and most misogynistic things…”( when all he did was play the role of the boy in The Emperors New Clothes ), congratulations on taking a page out of the playbook of those feminists you claim to have eschewed: *shaming tactics* employed in the service of stifling debate that threatens to upend an established psycho-social order.

    Face it Clio, thanks to the efforts of Roissy and others, the whole seedy underbelly of humanity is slowy being exposed to the light of day and there is

    nothing

    you

    can

    do

    about

    it.

    TC

    P.S. If it makes you feel any better, I always felt that your prose was indicative of a hot-chick behind the keyboard, and I do consider myself an astute judge of character. Just sayin’

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  90. Re: match.com (mere anecdote coming)

    I know two guys, both in late 40s, who “date” using match.com on a regular basis. Both are presentable, but far from movie stars or “alphas”. Both have had their share of women as described in the Clio link, but also many gorgeous young girls. Both are astonished at this, so don’t qualify as narcissists.

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  91. Remember, TC, my main battle with Thursday is over two points (in my mind, at least):
    1) Thursday’s support for Devlin’s notion that women are narcissistic
    2) Thursday’s expansion of this view, saying that Devlin’s comment wasn’t even meant to include women over 35 because they are of no importance.

    I actually doubt that (2) is what Devlin intended to say; I suspect he believes all women are narcissistc. But it is shocking to see Thursday exclude a whole category of people from a reference because of their age. I am aware that men prefer to sleep with younger women, to marry younger women, and regard older women as sexually less appealing, or not appealing at all. I wasn’t aware that they habitually write as if older women do not exist at all. The idea that older women are worthless/of no interest to society is not an objective statement (i.e. there’s no way to prove it). I mean, it’s not my experience at all – but that won’t make any difference to Thursday, will it?

    Clio

    Clio

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  92. But it is shocking to see Thursday exclude a whole category of people from a reference because of their age.

    Reality is shocking, not Thursday.

    I wasn’t aware that they habitually write as if older women do not exist at all.

    The limits of your awareness are not the limits of reality.

    I mean, it’s not my experience at all

    Perhaps have been too self-absorbed to benefit from it. The fact that you could write actually something like “I wasn’t aware that they [men] habitually write as if older women do not exist at all” shows that you have been pretty obtuse.

    ——————————————————————–

    Really Clio, these past two days you’ve been acting like a spoiled 13 year old girl who is too smart for her own good and thinks she knows everything. I feel like I am talking to one of my students instead of a 40 something woman. I really can’t take you seriously any more. Rave on to your hearts content.

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  93. I do not think that the limits of my experience are the limits of reality, nor am I so self-absorbed that I cannot benefit from experience, if indeed that is what you meant, Thursday. But you made a comment that society has no use for older women, and since that is not a thing that can be measured objectively, how else can I respond but to say that my own experience is different?

    Remember, we were not speaking of women’s sexual or reproductive or natural value, but of their social value. Or at least that’s what I thought. That’s why I found your statement so startling.

    I don’t feel especially proud of having lost my temper with you yesterday, but on the other hand, I think you deserved it. The way you misread or misunderstood my comments on women’s role in Western history in your Joyce letter, with its little reductio ad absurdam, was both thick-headed and patronizing.

    Clio

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  94. There was no raving in that comment, Thursday. Now you’re being a prick.

    Clio

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  95. I still love you, Clio, but the parade is over.

    Like


  96. You might want to consult a fat woman about that. Or even a size 10 or 12 woman who has been mooed at in public by a group of adult males. Or alternatively, you might want to read almost any of the comments about fat women ON THIS VERY BLOG.

    No, I said striaght men are more forgiving of a LITTLE fat than gay men and straight women are. Key word being “little.” I’m talking little Kim Kardashian type gut and rolls and butt or Mariah Carey, Beyonce or Alicia Keys or Mariah at their biggest. A lot of women would hate on these women’s weight but guys were okay with it. What you’re talking about is a LOT of fat. That most guys don’t like, I admit.

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  97. 97: “What you’re talking about is a LOT of fat.”

    No, I’m talking about women with a BMI in the “Normal” range, who are not even medically overweight, let alone obese.

    Please don’t tell me you think size 10 women deserve to be mooed at.

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  98. Actually, please don’t tell me you think anyone deserves to be mooed at as a commentary on their size.

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  99. on July 24, 2008 at 11:43 pm SovereignAmericanMale

    @99 Anonymous

    In my misspent youth, my cold callous humor required that I “moo” at girls who were tragically and harmfully underweight.

    I also kept a scale at my front door and a large BMI chart on the back of the front door. I had limit on what women I allowed into my bedroom.

    Oddly enough, most girls who came home already knew about it. (how is it that women are so networked into each other, yet hate each other with insane passions at times?)

    Something about being Highly Discerning on fat/weight, as a “High Value Stud” validates this neurosis about false body image, and appeals to a subconsious masochist streak, in promiscuous females.

    If they can pass the entrance into a bedroom of a man who is infamous for kicking bitches out the door for being fat. There is a sense of self satisfaction for all the self abuse and restrictive diets, I dare say Pride.

    But this Pride stays in their head, and is best dealt with by lowering them a peg at some point. If you fail to do so, she will take her entitlement mentality to a higher level.

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  100. That quote is amazingly inaccurate (and shows a complete ignorance about how many females….and guys, too, but the quote wasn’t about them….act once they’ve had children.)

    Do people really think that women become more secure and feel that they have “more value” after having kids? The “motherly instinct” does nothing to eliminate their own selfish instincts and desires.

    Actually, it adds to them for two reasons:

    – many try to live their own lives (or missed opportunities) through their kids

    – the whole “a ‘good’ mother can virtually do no wrong” attitude that many possess in society lets these women be even more indirectly selfish about something (and then pin it on “but I was doing it for the kids”

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  101. […] the majority of votes, and especially when a growing number of those female voters are longtime SINGLE women, the country eventually devolves from a center-right powerhouse of beta organized Protestant work […]

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