Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Is Adultery a Feminist Issue?


For feminists everything is a feminist issue. Such is the price of zealotry.

I have long suspected that ideologies make people stupid. Of course, those who master the extravagantly crafted intellectual constructions called ideologies believe that they are showing how smart they are.

In truth, ideology blinds them to reality.

Take adultery. Watching a feminist try to force reality to conform to her ideology is a sad sight indeed.

Good feminists are not allowed to think of gender in biological terms. Good feminists reject science, especially Darwin. 

Good feminists think that whatever goes on between men and women can be explained as a power dynamic. Dutifully, they follow the famed German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche.

Writing at the end of the nineteenth century the wildly reactionary Nietzsche tried to explain human motivation in terms of a will to power.

College students today read a chapter or two about Nietzsche and glom on to the idea that the will to power can explain everything.

For the record, Nietzsche was not a feminist.

Yesterday, Katie Baker wrote on Jezebel that she was tormented by the seemingly inexplicable fact that powerful men cheat more than powerful women.

She does not note that powerful women are more likely to be unmarried than powerful men.

Hyper-vigilant about anything that resembles gender discrimination Baker is seriously aggrieved because David Petraeus had a beautiful young mistress but that Hillary Clinton and Madeleine Albright did not have a bevy of handsome young men yearning for their sexual favors.

To Baker it feels like an injustice. I am sure you are just as puzzled as she is.

And when she sees an injustice, Baker, good little feminist that she is, blames the patriarchy.

Allow her to express her thought in her own words:

For the high-powered woman, the concept of "having it all" means pressure to succeed professionally while also being a good mother and wife. For the high-powered man, "having it all" apparently implies succeeding professionally while also having a respectable wife and a high-paid prostitute/housekeeper/intern/biographer mistress on the side. Why do powerful men risk everything on affairs? As more women take over positions of power, will they break adultery's glass ceiling?

Ignore the fact that the adultery debate has nothing to do with whether or not women can have it all. We already know, from no less than Anne-Marie Slaughter, unless she is a superwoman a woman cannot be a good wife, a good mother, and CEO.

If she is, how would she ever find the time to have an affair.

Science tells a different story. It turns out that alpha males attract a considerable amount of female attention because they are presumed to offer the best genes: they are considered to be best at protecting women and children and providing for a family. Moreover, a woman who is attached to an alpha male, even as his No. 1 concubine, gains status.

A man who attaches himself to a sixty-year-old powerful woman will not be looking to pass on his genes. And he will surely lose status.

Among mammals these facts are universal. As long as men and women continue to be mammals, and as long as social customs harmonize with biological reality, such will be the case.

Since Darwinian science sees sexual relations as a means to reproduce fit members of the species, biology has it that older, powerful women are significantly less attractive than older, powerful men.

Anyone who cannot figure this out should get her college tuition refunded. Anyone who believes that the situation will change if only we speak about it differently has gotten lost in the ideological clouds.

Like it or not, in the Darwinian mating game a woman’s value depends very largely on her fertility. A young, fertile a woman is more attractive to men.

Sexual attraction has a cultural component, but that component normally reflects biological realities.

The feminist failure to understand Darwin is a disgrace. 

16 comments:

Kath said...

There are actually women that have time to think about such drivel in these difficult times? They are irrelevant and don't know it.

Sam L. said...

Come, now. It's not a failure to, but a refusal to, understand. Such a consideration is anathema, and must be avoided at all costs, regardless of how high they may be.

Anonymous said...

As usual, your arguments are completely wrongheaded. If you were merely talking about why powerful men attract women who want to marry them and bear their children, it might work, however you do not need "biology" to explain it. It is entirely cultural: the powerful man has MONEY. His financial status is the attraction, not his "genes." Sometimes these women turn into mothers, but mainly they just want to be taken care of and never have to work. They have kids just for soemthing to do and maintain a facade, but could really care less about them. Many of them have no maternal instinct whatsoever. The "genes" argument does not work for the mistress, either, who certainly does not want to bear his children. The mistress, too, wants MONEY. Further than that, there is the sexual attraction that cannot be entirely explained by reproduction. They might just want good sex. Using birth control.
But this is not really the point anyway! The point is why does "having it all" for a powerful man mean having a hot young mistress as well as a wife. And there again, your argument falls apart. The powerful man does NOT want children with his hot young mistress--he wants children with his wife/mother who is ideally NOT hot, but rather matronly and respectable (i.e. John Edwards). The attraction to the hot young mistress is only indirectly that she's "fertile."
It's that she attracts more men, therefore it's about his competing with other men and winning. THe OTHER men may be fighting for her because they want her to bear their children, but he isn't. His power and status would lie in taking her OUT of the reproduction rat race for his own NON-reproductive sexual pleasure. If anything, this is anti-Darwinian to the core!
The question is the man's mother/whore complex and more centrally how he appears to other men. The question for the women involved is equally complex and cannot be reduced to such simplistic "biological" terms.

Stuart Schneiderman said...

Thank you for offering another perspective on these issues. It is much appreciated.

Female mammals are predisposed to mate with men who can protect and provide for them and their children. It is instinctive behavior. No one seriously disagrees with the science on this point.

As long as human beings are mammals they are certainly going to be influenced strongly by innate biological dispositions.

This does not mean that all human being are going to reproduce. It does not mean that all human females will find alpha males irresistible. Yet, the fact that one women mates with a slug does not mean that the science is wrong. It means that the science does not determine behavior in all cases.

Similarly, human beings, as biological organisms, are strongly disposed to reproduce themselves and the species.

Some people do not reproduce; that does not change the science, since Darwinian theory is about the survival of the fittest. If some individuals choose to ensure that their genes do not survive, that does not disprove the theory.

Much of your argument is based on assumptions about what different people want in different situations. I am not sure how you know what all these people want or don't want... but even if women want to exchange their reproductive potential for money... not a very flattering picture... that does not mean that they do not also desire to have the alpha male as their partner, their mate, the father of their children.

In many cases in the past mistresses did have children with their male lovers. In many cases women who say that they want nothing more than a good time are really hoping that their married lovers divorce their wives and marry them.

Men and women choose to get out of the reproductive rat race all the time-- this has no effect on the science... it simply suggests that they are deciding that their genes should not be passed on.

Obviously, there's more to it than biology, but biology is real and it exerts an important influence on human behavior. People ignore it at their peril.

Anonymous said...

Old women are ugly.

Explained.

Next

Dennis said...

I can understand disliking what modern day feminism has become, but I cannot understand this desire to paint a stereotypical view of women in general. This is as ridiculous as radical feminists trying to create the impression that all men al evil. This kind of claptrap only aids and abets the feminists.
Just like men, women are possessed of as much variety as nature needs to perpetuate the species. To not see the positives of womanhood, and of manhood as well, is to miss the beauty of life and the joy that comes with knowing them.
I am reminded of going to the deli to purchase some meat and cheese. The woman who takes care of my order says, "Is it alright if it is just a bit over?" My response is, " When I become perfect then I will expect perfection." Women are just as imperfect as men. There is something very human, and comforting, about this condition because we all have a lot of room for growth. I sometimes suspect that is why we are here.
If one wants to see things improve them both men and women have to begin to actually see the good that is inherent in each of us as a gender. If one looks for bad then that is all they will see. They will miss all the beauty that is around them thereby missing the enjoyment of life.
I am unhappy that Obama won, but I am not going to allow this poor excuse for a president to control how I enjoy life. One has to stop giving control to others. There is some joy in thinking about what can be done to stop him.
By the way, I know a number of old women who are quite attractive.

Anonymous said...

Old men are ugly, too. Its just their bank accounts that can be attractive.

Anonymous said...

There are just too many layers of crap in your language to ever disentangle them. I wil take one:
"Female mammals are predisposed to mate with men who can protect and provide for them and their children. It is instinctive behavior. No one seriously disagrees with the science on this point"

No, this is not true. It is not true for cats, who are female mammals. They will mate with any Tom, Dick and Harry and never see the father again. Same with dogs. A female dog in heat will literally back up on any erect canine penis around. Their litters have multiple fathers. ANd again, the males play no role in the rearing of the young.
Same with horses, pigs. In fact very few "mammal" species have anything like a mate for life.
I don't know about primates, maybe you can enlighten us.
So really you're talking about female HUMAN mammals, and again, this is nt true. This is ridiculous, meaningless "science".
Disregrading the gazillions of lesbians, spinsters, childless women, or other "female mammals" who have no desire for children and/or men, yet still have an active sexuality, let us take the typical hetersexual woman who wants to have kids.
It is not "instinctive" to mate with a man who will "take care of her and her children." Go ask any woman. More ofthen than not, they are attracted to jerks, slugs, bad boys, whatever. Their sexuality will take them many different places, particularly their "instinctive" base physilogical reaction. It's only later after they've been through a bunch of heartaches, etc, that they learn and eventually settle down with a decent guy. This is not "instinctive". It is more often than not a conscious choice, a decision, made from experience and the intellect.
Furthermore, the pattern a woman is going to choose is going to be based not on her "genes" but more likely on her father, whoever he was. If her father was a great caretaker, she will more likely gravitate towards a similar man. Yet if her father was a slug who abandoned and mistreated her mother, she will quite likley make a beeline straight for that type, until she learns better.
Just so many reasons why your blanket pronouncements are so ridiculous!

Stuart Schneiderman said...

I am confident that you will find Susan Walsh's piece on hypergamy enlightening:

http://www.hookingupsmart.com/2012/11/14/whatguyswant/the-hypergamy-acceptance-movement/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+HookingUpSmart+%28Hooking+Up+Smart%29

For the record, I am assuming that you reject Darwin.

Stuart Schneiderman said...

Not to be too repetitive, there are not gazillions of childless people. The statement is silly.

I hate to have to repeat myself but I did mention in a previous comment that the fact that some humans and/or primates choose not to reproduce does not mean that there is no instinct to reproduce.

The fact that some humans choose not to eat does not prove that a survival instinct does not exist.

Surely, instincts in and of themselves do not cast aspersions on those who choose a different course in life.

After all, most people do not disparage or denigrate the celibate priesthood. Nor does the existence of the group disprove the law that pushes the vast majority of humans to reproduce.

Anonymous said...

What I find offensive is you lumping women together with all "female mammals." If this is Darwinian, then it is wrong. If you take any "scientific" look at mating practices across all "female mammals" then you are simply wrong. You cannot do it. No one can seriously question the "science" in this point.
Statistically speaking, you are still wrong. There are enough "exceptions" to the rule to seriously question any blanket statement about women having an instinctive need to reproduce. Why? Because women are not just "female mammals" like other mammals. They are human, and the instincts in human beings absolutely do not operate the same way they might for other animals. There might well be an instinct to reproduce, but like all the sexual instincts, they operate a bit differently in human beings.
Even if we concede that there is an overriding "instinctual" need to reproduce, to "mate" in order to beget children, my point was to question your blanket assertion that women are "instinctually" drawn to "providers." Not true. Like I said, women may eventually settle down with a "good husband" but this comes after much trial and tribulation, compromise, suffering, learning, and CHOICE.

Anonymous said...

What I find offensive is you lumping women together with all "female mammals." If this is Darwinian, then it is wrong. If you take any "scientific" look at mating practices across all "female mammals" then you are simply wrong. You cannot do it. No one can seriously question the "science" in this point.
Statistically speaking, you are still wrong. There are enough "exceptions" to the rule to seriously question any blanket statement about women having an instinctive need to reproduce. Why? Because women are not just "female mammals" like other mammals. They are human, and the instincts in human beings absolutely do not operate the same way they might for other animals. There might well be an instinct to reproduce, but like all the sexual instincts, they operate a bit differently in human beings.
Even if we concede that there is an overriding "instinctual" need to reproduce, to "mate" in order to beget children, my point was to question your blanket assertion that women are "instinctually" drawn to "providers." Not true. Like I said, women may eventually settle down with a "good husband" but this comes after much trial and tribulation, compromise, suffering, learning, and CHOICE.

Stuart Schneiderman said...

Yikes... let's try to be clear. Human females are mammals; they are also primates, as you correctly noted the other day. Human males are mammals; they are also primates.

The fact that you find it offensive counts for exactly nothing. It draws attention to your feelings and does nothing for the argument.

The only beings I know of that do not have these biological characteristics are angels-- so perhaps you are just saying that you are an earthly angel. Congratulations.

As far as the science goes, it is well enough known that in one particular respect human females differ from other primate females-- they do not advertise fertility.

Thus, since fertility is less obvious among human females they also feel the desire to have sexual relations at times when they are not fertile. You might think that this mean that sex is ultimately more about pleasure than about reproduction. Or you might conclude that this regimen maximizes the chances to reproduce.

As for whether women are drawn to providers or whether primate females try to mate with higher status males, I would draw your attention to the studies of what is now called hypergamy... I provided a link in a previous comment.

One might say that some women are drawn to bad boys or thugs because they represent strength and an ability to protect.

NO ONE disputed the importance of a woman's choice of a spouse-- it was one of the great cultural productions of the Anglosphere. Nor does anyone believe that said choice changes anything. In our modern times, where young men are less likely to be able to provide for their families, what happens is that fewer and fewer people marry. Part of the reason is that many women do not want to marry a man who cannot contribute significantly to her support. Thus, women develop relationships based more on pleasure and less on reproduction because the men in question are better at the first than the second.

Anonymous said...

Let me be clear one more time: I do not dispute that women and men are in fact mammals. What I dispute is drawing any kind of conclusions from the observation of mating practices in cats, dogs, pigs, horses, or apes directly to humans. Or to imply that because apes do it one way, then all mammals behave the same way. Yes humans are mammamls, but they are also human, which the last time I checked is distinct from an ape. There are similarites, yes, but no automatic generalization is possible across the board. To make the generalization, as you continually do, is simply wrong.
It is offensive because very simply, you want to equate women with cats, dogs, pigs, horses and apes. Similarities, yes, but no direct equation. Any generalizsation without an acknowledgement of the specific humanity of "female mammals" that are human beings is offensive, as I am not the only one here to have noticed.
By "bad boys" I mean in the common sense of a guy who sleeps with tons of women and everyone knows is the very last one in the near vicinity to ever commit or "be there" when needed. Vs: the engineer or the computer nerd with a great income who only wants a wife to take care of. If your points were accurate, the "female mammal" would never go for the bad boy. She would be "instinctively" drawn to the computer nerd, without hesitation and without any deviation. Because then she would be provided for very comfortably and can just settle down and immediately start reproducing. Why do things not work out this way, if this is "nature?"

Recruiting Animal said...

Paula Broadwell looks healthy not beautiful.

And she is 40, not really a young fertile woman.

But because she is fit I'm sure that many young men would like to have sex with her on a regular basis.

And, if she continues to be fit this situation might persist for many years.

Stuart Schneiderman said...

Points well taken... I was trying to set out the issue without drawing an explicit comparison between Paula Broadwell and Holly Petraeus... so if I had been less discreet I would have qualified it with...comparatively. While PB is not at peak fertility, compared with HP ...