Sunday, August 28, 2016

When He Doesn't Call Back

What hath feminism wrought?

Olivia Goldhill is standing tall and proud. She correctly remarks that feminism has overthrown courtship customs that have existed for centuries. She apparently missed the point, made by yours truly and by Camille Paglia, that traditional courtship empowers women.

If your mind does not veer too close to the paranoid you will have figured out that courtship and dating could not have evolved without the active participation of women. More so since they are in charge of the game. Even more so since, when it comes to romance women have home field advantage.

So if you think that traditional courtship was a vast patriarchal conspiracy, you have missed the point entirely. And you have grievously insulted all the women who created and fostered the custom.

Goldhill is down on dating because she has bought the party line that considers it sexist. Thereby she places herself among those whose minds have not gotten beyond the name-calling state of intellectual development:

With feminism almost universally embraced, I had long assumed that anyone I’d be interested in hanging out with would know that the traditional, heterosexual dating rules are ridiculous. And why play some outdated game when you’ve absolutely no intention of starting a serious relationship?

But then, since Goldhill had overcome dating, she found herself hooking up. Truth be told, like it or not, the hookup culture—see yesterday’s post—arose after feminists rejected traditional courtship. But, hooking up does not always produce the desired outcome. It is decidedly bad for women. Worse yet, as everyone but Goldhill knows, when you hook up with whomever you might never see him again.

She offers us her anguish:

The first time I met someone I was interested in post-break-up, none of those rules were relevant. We had sex, texted, and hung out without counting the hours between messages or playing hard to get. The second time, however, I was not so lucky. In a scenario familiar to millions of people, yet honestly surprising to me, I had sex with a guy (we’ll call him Dan) and never heard from him again. I didn’t know him well and certainly wasn’t emotionally invested, but the interaction still rankled me. We’d got on incredibly well and, for all the nonchalance endemic to casual hook ups, sex is an unavoidably intimate experience. The radio silence post-coitus seemed strangely cold.

And she continues, to wring her experience through her feminist mind:

Ultimately, it seems women-whom-you’ve-had-sex-with are the only category of people straight men aren’t expected to treat cordially. This deep-seated sexism comes alongside various other problematic assumptions—that sex is something women give to men, that women always want relationships, that talking about emotions in connection to sex is “crazy”—that still seem to permeate heterosexual sexual relations. And that left me, a hard-core feminist in 2016, feeling like a cow that had given away the milk for free.

Glad I didn’t call her a cow. You can imagine the outrage.

Anyway, she says that men do not call a woman they barely know and who has provided a sexual service because they are sexist. Oh really. Is that the best she can do? Young Olivia Goldhill has been bragging about how feminism has destroyed common courtesy, which is fundamental to courtship, and then she complains that her latest hookup, call him Dan, was discourteous and did not call her back.

You cannot, Olivia dear, have it both ways. The fact of the matter is, courtship existed to ensure, as much as possible, that you would be having sex with someone you know. Not only that, but that you would await some level of commitment before giving it away. If you do not act like a lady you cannot expect him to act like a gentleman. How about a little coherent thought?

Goldhill has every right to behave as she wishes. No one would reproach her for doing as she pleases. And yet, she does not confer the same right on her hookup. She insists that he show her proper respect, and fails to understand that showing respect is part of the courtship game that feminists destroyed. She doesn't just want to do what she wants, but she insists that other people respect her for it. She is arguing for mind control.

Anyone who has is able to reason like an adult—and that includes most mothers of adolescent and adult daughters-- will tell Goldhill that she should act as though she respects herself. Because if she acts as though she does not respect herself, why would any man respect her?

Blaming it on sexism is shifting the blame. And disempowering women. One notes, with chagrin, that feminism, in its radical fervor, has overthrown traditional customs and beliefs. As such, it has done women no favors. In place of the cordial and perhaps even awkward game of courtship—see Jane Austen—it has given women the freedom to hook up and it has given men the freedom to treat women with disrespect. Moreover, in its constant assault on men’s character, its constant accusations of sexism—these are certainly not limited to the dating world—it has produced a hostile cultural environment.

And, why would anyone imagine that men will not retaliate by treating women with something less than respect. Since physical retaliation is a criminal action, men have found other ways to mistreat women—by not calling them in the morning, by using them and discarding them.

If you think that men are going to sit back and take the hostility and the abuse, the assaults on their character and dignity, you are wrong. It is insulting and offensive. It has taught men the power of ghosting.

One might not like the way that men treat women, but feminists should cease and desist from denouncing men as sexist and should start acting as though they respect themselves. At that point, men will be far more likely to show them more respect. 


Anonymous said...

In writing this column, you might also want to have noted the correlation between partner count and divorce when it comes to women. Men especially need to be warned about this. When women like these turn 35 and decide it's time to be married, the number of partners they've accumulated makes them a bad bet for any man.

They're more likely to initiate divorce and -- as we know -- the men who marry them are likely to end up with expensive alimony and/or child support payments. Parents of boys need to warn them about this. Financial devastation caused by divorce is very real and despite what feminists claim, hits men very hard.

Below is a link to a classic blog post by The Social Pathologist from 2010 that explains all this, replete with graphics. This post should be required reading for any man starting college:

-- Days of Broken Arrows

Sam L. said...

"Goldhill has every right to behave as she wishes. No one would reproach her for doing as she pleases." I would disagree, in that someone or someones WOULD. One could view your post as a reproach, rather than as a bad example. I will say, though, that there's nothing better to learn from than a really good bad example.

AesopFan said...

Is it possible that the resurgence of popularity for Jane Austen's cautionary tales is a reaction to the prevalence of the hook-up culture?
Which, as practiced by the wealthy elites, is not really new, but we used to look down on them for flaunting it, not strive to emulate them.

I blame Gatsby. And Hollywood.

Gringo said...

And that left me, a hard-core feminist in 2016, feeling like a cow that had given away the milk for free.

My grandmother, born in the 19th century, also made the analogy of the cow giving away the milk for free.

maxx said...

she points out that traditional heterosexual dating rules are ridiculous and then insists on tradition. Why did she not call him?

Texan99 said...

I've never engaged in dating. I did figure out decades ago that I had different assumptions about what frame of mind a man was likely to be in before engaging in casual sex, vs. what frame of mind I'd be in. Some guys were more like me; the sexual experience was likely to be associated with a certain amount of curiosity, warmth, and desire to explore the relationship further. Other guys evidently wanted something more like a hook-up-and-forget-it encounter. I didn't need a traditional courtship to distinguish between the two sorts of guys, but I did need to learn that there were different styles and how to recognize them.

Goldsmith may be a little confused, but I agree with her that there's a better solution than assuming that men want to use women for impersonal sex and that women have to bargain for up-front payment in self-defense. Only some men want to use women for impersonal sex; the solution is to avoid those men completely, not cut a financial deal with them. My husband of 33 years has never approached things that way, God bless him.