This post is about addressing the idea that AWALT is "unfair" or "inaccurate" from a scientific perspective. AWALT is an "unfair generalization", but the concept doesn't exist to be perfectly accurate or perfectly fair. It exists as a rule-of-thumb to keep you safe. Protect yourself, protect your interests, then go out there and have a good time with the people you love, you handsome devil you.
I was thinking a while ago about the phrase AWALT, and how (from a philosophical/scientific perspective), it can't possibly be an actually valid statement. So I started thinking about why that is, and why it persists.
And then I realized that there's another phrase like that, which is All Guns Are Loaded. It's a very simple concept to understand: If you have a gun, assume it's loaded. If somebody points a gun at you, assume it's loaded. It doesn't matter if you've personally unloaded it or witnessed somebody unloading it. All guns are loaded.
It's admittedly a little bit troublesome that we use the phrase AWALT, because it can be interpreted as oversimplifying women. It's annoying to have to explain to people. I've had someone come to me and say, "Okay, the truths about TRP seem to make sense, but I can't get past how they generalize a huge population. That's just unscientific."
I agree. And the important thing to realize here is this– AWALT isn't an attempt to come to a scientific, accurate assessment of an entire population. It's a heuristic meant to remind you to prepare for the worst.
Consider how we "oversimplify" guns. We assume that they're all loaded. Why? How come that's okay? Because it's better to be safe than sorry. The same logic applies with AWALT. And in any respectable relationship between equals, both parties will appreciate the fact that the other party is first and foremost responsible for their own interests.
Some people will say that that's not what relationships are about, that relationships should be about blind, passionate trust in the other person's absolute and total devotion to both parties' mutual interests. That's incredibly naive. It's a fairy tale. Even siblings kill each other. Why do we expect better from romantic love?
I believe that it's possible to love people deeply, to be kind, to be generous, to be warm, to be loving. (Sometimes I wish I saw more of that from TRP, but I respect that that's not what this forum is about. So I'll keep those fee-fees to myself.)
A leader doesn't impose discipline on his crew because he hates them and he thinks crews are necessarily unreliable. He does it because he wants them to achieve great things as a collective, and have great experiences along the way. That said, he also protects himself so that he might live to fight another day, should he find himself utterly compromised.
So it is with relationships. Be as warm, kind, and loving as you like. But protect your interests. Remember that you can't negotiate desire, you have to earn it. Remember that nobody truly cares about your suffering.
And remember that all guns are loaded.
PS: Also, you can also assume that 'AMALT' with regards to all sorts of negative and damaging behavior, too. You should assume, for instance, that any money you lend will never be returned. I'm sure you can think of all sorts of other such heuristics that are necessarily "unfair" or "imperfect" but are designed to save yo ass.
EDIT: When I say "troublesome", I don't mean "Aw, gee, it's not very nice that the boys at TRP are saying mean things about women." This is the Internet, who gives a shit. What I mean is this: If you're not careful about how you think and talk about a rule of thumb, you have a good chance of ending up in a nasty situation. This is a meditation on how to avoid getting into nasty situations. Think however you like, but consider the ramifications and act accordingly. (Or not. It's your life.)