Sunday, March 4, 2012

Are Modern Women Unapproachable?

You may not remember Hephzibah Anderson, but surely you remember her name.

Hephzibah Anderson is a British journalist who found fame by swearing off sex for a year. Happily, she lived to tell the tale… in a wonderful book called Chastened. My comments here.

(Stylistic propriety dictates that I should refer to her as Anderson, as I have done in the past, but for the purposes of today’s post I will take the liberty of first-naming her. It doesn’t happen very often that you can write a name like Hephzibah, so why not seize the day.)

Several months ago, Hephzibah wrote an article for MarieClaire asking why she is still single. The article was brought to my attention by relationship columnist Neely Steinberg.

For my part I find that Hephzibah is asking a thoroughly apposite question: no woman named Hephzibah should be single.

At least, that’s my belief.

Unfortunately, reality does not always accord with my beliefs.

One day, Hephzibah was having dinner with friends when one of the men present announced that he was happy that he had found his wife when they were in college. Women today, Patrick announced, are so busy that they are “unapproachable.”

The statement was something of an epiphany for the single women who were there. All of them had overstuffed lives, lives that were so busy, so consuming, that they had nothing left to give to a relationship, to say nothing of a marriage.

When they had a free minute or two they spent it wondering why there was no man in their lives.

Ironically, in the name of women’s liberation they had sacrificed their freedom. Before the movement had a name they had voluntarily allowed themselves to be Occupied.

Their minds, their emotions and their time was so completely occupied that they did not have any free time or free space or free emotion to give to anyone else.

As psychologist Bethany Marshall says, when a woman’s life is full to bursting she might not even notice when a man is interested. Even if she does notice she is going to be telling him, whether she knows it or not, she has no room for him in her life.

Hephzibah offers us some examples of women she knows:

Take my single friend Alexia — classic multitasker. A 34-year-old television producer, she has a prestigious job at a media company, owns her apartment, takes Italian lessons, and in her "spare" time leads an art history lecture at her local community center. Oh, and she also runs marathons. Guys gutsy enough to approach her usually fall puffing by the wayside.

Or Judith Offman, 36, a research biologist who juggles work with hobbies like cooking classes, film club, and Pilates. Like many women, she embraced an after-work activity — volunteering at a Jewish festival — to meet men. She loved it so much, she now runs it herself. "But I'm so busy with the event, I'm still single three years later," she says.

And then there's journalist Anita Sethi, 29. When she's not scrambling to meet one of her many deadlines, she's writing a novel and gallivanting through South America. Yet her glittering résumé hasn't helped her love life — in fact, her last date said he prefers "homey" women.

If a woman does not have time for a date how will she ever coordinate her life with that of another human being? Very few men want to be an afterthought.

And how would she ever find the time or the energy to make a home or to raise children.

According to Marshall, women are doing as they have been told. They have been told, perhaps by magazines like Marie Claire, that being out and about is a good way to meet men. And they have been told that being busy is a good way to stave off feelings of loneliness.

And yet, living your life in a whirlwind seems also to manifest a phobia, and not just a phobia of smelling the coffee.

If the mania has been artificially manufactured, as I believe it has, it protects women from a number of artificial fears: the fear of being dependent on a man, the fear of having to share with a man, the fear of a loss of independence.

For decades now feminists have worked hard to produce these fears in women. Feminists have wanted, even demanded, that women become independent and autonomous, self-sufficient, self-absorbed, and self-involved.

Of course, feminists promised that this state of maniacal self-actualization would lead to true love. Once you don’t need a man you will find a man who does not want a needy, dependent woman.

Of course, this was a ruse, a ploy, designed to manipulate women into becoming better feminists. In the name of fulfillment, these women have been duped into signalling to men that they are unapproachable. Of course, this serves the purposes of movement feminism.

If you feel that you embody feminine perfection and if no man will go near you then that would prove that men are oppressive dogs. One more convert for the cause.

If women want more out of life than a constant whirl of activity they need to find the true freedom that comes from throwing off their feminist chains.


David Foster said...

I wonder to what extent the American perceptions of life, and particularly of relationships between the sexes, are biased by the fact that so much of the media is NYC-centric. I don't think most people's lives are really as cold and hysterical as one would gather from reading the dinosaur media.

n.n said...

This is the premise for a perfectly dysfunctional society leading to evolutionary malaise. I wonder if this is why they are importing, both legally and otherwise, so many people from 2nd and 3rd world nations. Either Americans have inconvenient ambitions or a well-intentioned social and biological experiment has failed, miserably. It would seem to be the former, as they continue their effort to normalize deviant and unproductive behaviors.

Sam L. said...

Feminists have an evil side. Who woulda thunk it?

Dennis said...

I would like to expand on David's point. I meet and talk to a lot of women of all ages and I find most are decent people and not a bit like what populates most "blue" areas of the country. Of course I am not trying to date them or get anything from them, but one can tell a lot about personal interactions.
I believe we have allowed a very, very small minority to control the image of what we think women are and are not. I know I fall prey to it once in a while myself. Lord knows women can be an enigma, as I suspect we men are to them, at times. One only needs to look around themselves and see large numbers of women who are good people just trying to live their lives like most of us men.
We both suffer from the bad rap that "feminism" foists upon us. As Sam L. says, "Feminists have a evil side." Feminism is and has always been bigotry writ large and cannot not escape it roots in that bigotry.
For both of us to miss the joy of being and being with are opposites is to miss most of life. Life becomes a lot more enjoyable when one sees "feminism" for the misandry that it is. Why would anyone not notice that the largest women's group are not feminist?

Tilda Tally-ho said...

Dennis, your comments are absolutely right on. I live in the country and avoid "popular" culture as much as I can -- I don't watch TV, I don't follow celebrities, etc. -- but when I do come in contact with it, I'm always astonished at how remote it seems from my life and that of my family and friends. Last night I was at a friend's and a TV ad came on for things that men can put in their shoes to make themselves look taller -- I was dumbfounded that anyone would care.
I grew up in the 60s and 70s and feminism for me meant not making assumptions about how men and women "should" act, rather seeing all of us as just humans who have more in common than different. I think that's a useful take-home interpretation.

Dennis said...

Just imagine that a person is in a "blue" area and all they meet are Liberal and Leftist men. Would that not sour a person's attitude to the opposite sex?
I sometimes wonder if there is a little bit of the "Stockholm Syndrome" at play in "blue" areas. After a certain point women start relating to those who have never had their best interests at heart.

RKV said...

Don't disagree with the characterization of feminism as bigotry - I'd merely add that one its other prime functions is to use the government to take money from men and give it to women aka welfare. Doesn't matter that the baby isn't yours man, just give me your money cause the babydaddy who had the good times hasn't got it.

Dennis said...

Feminism, the NACCP, et al all started out to address problems that needed to be addressed and for a few years stayed close to those objectives. Unfortunately, as in the iron law of groups that have their impetus grounded in dealing with real problems, the radicals take over.
These groups almost always become government sanctioned bigotry. How the government can believe that one can solve bigotry and hate by creating bigotry and hate boggles the mind. How does making those who had no responsibility for that which happened in the past pay for those mistakes? It just creates a new set of victims such as Asian Americans.
In the end all of these groups have devolved in to Bigotry. When your whole idea is to push one group over another you are a sexist/bigot. It can be no other way. Tilda Tally-ho is correct in saying, "I grew up in the 60s and 70s and feminism for me meant not making assumptions about how men and women "should" act, rather seeing all of us as just humans who have more in common than different.'
I believe most of us who were part of helping to make those changes wanted everyone to have an equal opportunity to succeed on their own merits.
Government sanctioned Bigotry was not what we expected.
Another iron law, "Government will make a good idea worse and will do it exponentially." As long as we tolerate these groups it will only get worse because race and sex baiting is all they have to everyone's loss.

Anonymous said...

Basically women can “date up” but they have to “marry down,” and men will “date down” but will only “marry up”. Men realize this from a young age because to get sex we have to drop our standards. It often takes women a lot longer to realize that in order to get married she will eventually have to “marry down” (settle) or stay single. The longer she waits, the older she gets and the more she will have to compromise.

That’s why women find dating so difficult.

If your parents were both 6s, your mother could have spent her 20s hooking up with 8s – but your father couldn’t have. Young women days often do that these days. However, when these women reach their late 20s / 30s they will have to drop back down to dating 6s if they want to secure commitment. This process is difficult to accept because after 10 years of hooking-up with 8s she will have to realize that in fact she was only a 6 the whole time (the same applies for 5s hooking up with 7s, 4s with 6s etc). Truly hypergamous women never realize/accept it and so they keep getting dumped, or stay single.

“Settling” isn’t the best term to use because it sounds depressing. Perhaps we should say “realignment of priorities?”

I also agree with you on the idea of a soul-mate. I don’t believe in “the one” as such, rather “the timing” - people who just happen to be looking for the same thing at the same time, and then they meet each other.
And this is why women going for someone out of her league has much more impact on the sexual market than a man doing so. She'll get laid and he won't.
Women generally get more dating options even after accounting for the degenerates, criminals and creeps (read unattractive men) and having more options moulds you into different people, whether you like to accept or not. Having more options makes you selective. At the very least it gives you some validation. It makes you less desperate. It gives you a better idea of what kind of men are best for you because you have the privilege to date so many people. Most men just get down on their knees and flip out a ring for the 1st or 2nd woman who show mild interest in them. Most guys simply arent selective and dont have the long checklists because they never get so many options.

And after a break up or divorce, women are in most cases better off. They can start an active dating and sex life soon after divorce. Its so common to see single freshly divorced moms having sexual relationships with good looking men. Meanwhile most divorced men have no one but prostitutes to turn to. Its all about "options' and women have more of them.

Women rarely experience sexual rejection. So even when a man isnt interested in committing, it at least validates her as a sexual desirable being. Atleast he found her attractive enough to have sex and share intimacy with. This reminds me of the fact that women never get friend-zoned. Its always a Friend-with-Benefit zone. It is so much better than simply being limited and confined to a non sexual being by the object of your affection/crush.