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The Essence of Femininity

Notorious: She gave up her slutty ways for Dev.


There were many insightful comments from readers on the recent post about American women and femininity. Some readers emailed me offline as well. Thanks to all of you who shared your thoughts!

First, the very real question arose about whether femininity is innate, learned throughout life, or superficially applied. I don’t believe it’s entirely innate, though I do believe that the natures of men and women differ greatly, genetically speaking. As I shared earlier, I believe that my generation of women has been taught to effectively suppress femininity because it was believed to be an obstacle to women’s professional success. Those early feminists had a point – a woman who “thinks like a man” is bound to go further in business or law than a man who “thinks like a woman.” The latter calls up images of an overly emotional, somewhat unstable male. Ridding ourselves of overblown stereotypes seems like a good idea.

Although femininity is heavily marketed to consumers as something that can be applied superficially, I believe that is a very unsatisfying way for a woman to approach her femininity. As women we can and should benefit from embracing our femaleness, or womanhood, without regard to politics, dogma or fashion. Many readers, both male and female, raised the point that femininity is not something that women should use as a tool to attract men. One male reader said “it’s not like a dress you can take on and off.” Another said, “It is your nature, not something to put on when the occasion arises.” Rather, a naturally feminine woman will by definition attract men.

Several readers expressed concern that men should not define femininity for women. I understand this feeling, but the more I thought about it, the clearer it became to me that neither sex gets to define what femininity is. It just is. Being feminine is the opposite of being masculine. It is natural that women should be feminine, and men masculine. However, gender traits lie on a continuum, and are certainly affected by culture. Men and women share many traits and values, and also affect one another. A man may hesitate to show his nurturing instincts unless he knows that they will be appreciated. A woman may hesitate to show her dispassionate analytical side unless she knows it is critical to her success and will be rewarded.

Sex differences are about procreation. Men desire feminine women, and women desire masculine men. The two come together to procreate. Any effort to rid ourselves of our essential natures, then, is futile. On the other hand, sex differences can become emphasized to the point that they are caricatures. A simpering woman who feigns stupidity has missed the point. So has a woman who  swears like a trucker and always wears sweats. (It goes without saying this is a heteronormative analysis.)

In order of frequency, here are the factors defined as the most pertinent in defining femininity:

Nurturing

This was the most frequent adjective that came up, along with warm and affectionate. Women do have a predisposition towards taking care of others – most importantly, family. Both parents can be exceptionally loving, but there is a difference between the sexes in the way they express love. Ideally, both boys and girls grow up in the embrace of a loving mother’s arms. Is it any wonder that grown men long for that loving embrace from their partners? Mike C shared a poem that he found at Roissy today (I don’t know whether Roissy has lost his mind or his blog has been taken over by aliens). It’s illustrative:

When her head nestles in my neck
and her fingers graze my ear
and her sleepy breath whispers hymns
my worldly worries disappear.

Men crave a nurturing and tender touch from women, and women enjoy bestowing it. Several men mentioned looking for clues that a woman will be a good mother. A nurturing personality is the number one cue for that.

Playful

This came up again and again, especially among men. They love to be teased. One requested coyness and another coquettishness, which is defined as “teasing sexual or romantic overtures; flirtation.” Playfulness is one of the things that has been discouraged by feminism, as it was considered a sure-fire way not to be taken seriously. I believe that a sense of playfulness, humor, and good-natured teasing is almost always appropriate. We Irish even bring these traits to our customs around death. Both sexes are very capable of playful behavior, but men perceive that women are better at it, and they find it appealing.

Subtlety

Women have been taught that “you get what you ask for,” and “you can do anything you want if you fight for it.” Consequently, we have gotten rather obvious and aggressive in the last couple of generations. This has served us well in some ways, but it doesn’t translate very well to relationships. We have made seduction artless, which is pitiably a lot less fun for everyone. It is impossible to be intriguing when one is obvious. It is impossible to be curious about someone when they are an open book, displaying their wares as if for sale. One man described subtlety as communicating “class and elegance.” Another described the appeal of mystery, advising women “Show, don’t tell.”

Emotional Intelligence

Men perceive that women are good at emotions, that they can be sensitive and tactful. Men crave empathy, understanding and appreciation from women. They need the support of women, and they appreciate good listening skills. They also enjoy a woman’s emotional vulnerability as a proxy for her emotional health and ability to bond. One man said that he wants a woman to have sex like a woman, and that means emotional intimacy. Men will avoid committing to a woman who does not “have eyes only for them.” Female intuition was mentioned as well.

Pride in feminine appearance

Interestingly, not a single person defined femininity in terms of the use of cosmetics. Nor was there any demand for specific types of body parts, e.g. big boobs, tiny waist, etc. (except to say they should be lady parts, haha). Both men and women value good grooming and careful attention to dressing. Men like skirts and dresses more than pants, tailored pants more than sweats. Emphasize what makes you female!

Not surprisingly, men and young women are tuned in to maximizing those features that also serve as cues for fertility: skin, physical health and fitness, and the ever-present preference for long hair. Several guys mentioned loving polished fingers and toes. Modesty was mentioned as having more allure than brash display of physical assets.

Female physicality

One reader shared her grandmother’s advice that a woman needs to walk like a woman. This was echoed repeatedly by the males. They notice and appreciate female posture, body language, facial expressions, and eye contact. I’ve never met a man who didn’t want a woman to feel soft beneath his fingers. They strongly prefer a feminine tone of voice, and love the sound of a woman’s laugh.

Appreciation for masculine traits

Men want women who recognize and appreciate what it means to be male. This does not mean excellence on the playing field, necessarily. It has nothing to do with an overabundance of testosterone, or the tendency to act like a douchebag. Women have largely lost this knowledge, but we’re trying to bring it back ;)


Many offered suggestions to avoid distinctly unfeminine behavior in women:

  • Any form of false advertising, including “dumbing down” when men are present to bolster their egos.
  • Treating others with disrespect.
  • Verbal aggression.
  • Extreme verbosity, especially of a whining nature, or coupled with demands.
  • Sarcasm, snark and other forms of “put downs.”
  • Ruthless or competitive behavior.
  • Swearing, use of profanity.
  • Binge drinking.
  • Sexual aggression.
  • Overt attention-seeking behavior/narcissism.

Personally, I find all of these behaviors equally unattractive in men. Let’s lose them altogether!

In the end, women and men define femininity in much the same way. Each of us lies somewhere on the spectrum of masculine and feminine traits. I say use every last thing that nature gave you to live a full life. Be sexy and vulnerable, be coquettish and direct, take care of yourself, and take care of others. Different approaches and behaviors are called for at different times. Give your partner what he needs, but ask for what you need as well.

And definitely brush up on the playful teasing and witty repartee. As several people suggested, the old movies from the Golden Age of Hollywood have wonderful contrasting feminine and masculine roles. If your great grandmother isn’t available to teach you, you could do worse than observe:

  • Ingrid Bergman – Casablanca, also great as a “reformed slut” in North by Northwest
  • Audrey Hepburn – everything
  • Grace Kelly – anything, but very coquettish in Rear Window
  • Sophia Loren – anything
  • Ginger Rogers – Fred Astaire movies
  • Lauren Bacall – To Have and Have Not
  • Myna Loy – the Thin Man films

Vive la difference. Don’t let anyone take that away from you.

6 Pingbacks/Trackbacks

  • Mike C

    Nothing to add.
    .
    If there is only one post a young woman can read on this blog and no others, this would be the one.

  • Plain Jane

    Susan, your list of celebrities proves that “feminity” is a myth sold by Hollywood. The list of unfeminine behaviour is what I would call uncultured behaviour for either sex. I will go so far as to even state that your list of positive qualities are gender/sex neutral (with the exception of lady parts). What woman doesn’t want good skin and physical fitness in a male partner? Sure, we can leave the “long hair” out and replace it with “good hair” or “healthy hair”. Even then, all female fans think Dr. Spencer Reid got sexier as his hair got longer on Criminal Minds, so that’s something for guys to consider if they want to bring an “edge” to their looks.
    It appears we are back to square one in that feminine and masculine qualities are vague characteristics that seem to just be euphemisms for “cultured and desirable traits in civilized human beings”.

  • OffTheCuff

    Another home-run.

  • http://www.snubbr.com Henway

    Great post – every woman should take the time and read this. Playfulness is something that should be encouraged among women. So many women act so serious and stoic – it’s such a turnoff. I know the femininist movement encouraged women to take advantage of equal opportunities, and I encourage that as well, but there are certain ways women should act if they want to attract men.

  • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

    @Mike C, @OTC
    Thanks very much! It’s always good to get the nod of approval, especially when representing the views of men!

  • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

    @Henway, thx to you too. The playful thing really has hit a nerve. I think we need to relax a bit – it doesn’t do a soul any good to be serious all the time.

  • Jess

    It’s not often that I endorse your posts (or anyone elses) without reservation but I think I would go along with all of what you have written here.
    .
    I myself have never really bought into British feminity as such and tend to wear tatty jeans and shapeless tops. For one I was a 90s feminist, two, I didn’t like the leering when in a dress and 3, I’m a bit lazy like that. I have got a bit better with age.
    .
    I quite like your qualifications, hetero normative bias notwithstanding, and probably repeating.

  • OffTheCuff

    PJ, you are my new facepalm of the week. Femininity existed long before movies, before photography, heck, before representational art. Have you read the Bible at all? Song of Solomon? That’s some pretty old-school stuff we can’t blame on Hollywood or Cosmo.
    .
    You strike me as a woman who has intentionally checked out of being feminine for whatever reason, claiming it’s crass or commercial or sexist or unnecessary or whatever. I’m not sure why, only you know. Then you wonder why men of your own kind don’t approach you, claiming it’s because you weren’t born good-looking enough. More likely, it’s because you’ve rejected any form of femininity for them to be attracted to.
    .
    I’m also shaking my head at your attempt to rationalize that femininity is just generic sexless traits that are nice. If that were the case, men would find other men attractive all the time and we’d all be bisexual.
    .
    I don’t think anyone’s back at square one, besides you.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      I’m also shaking my head at your attempt to rationalize that femininity is just generic sexless traits that are nice. If that were the case, men would find other men attractive all the time and we’d all be bisexual.

      Exactly! I’m not sure why it’s offensive to some to consider that the sexes are inherently different, even opposite. Why would people with different physical sex characteristics, different hormonal profiles, even different brain development, be identical, or “marginally different?” It makes absolutely no sense, and requires all kinds of tortured logic to get to that conclusion. This is a case of the emperor having no clothes, but it’s just a matter of time, as much of the newest research on the brain is addressing this question.

  • Octavia

    Old Hollywood offered some interesting aspects of femininity. Along with the actresses already mentioned, I thought Marlene Dietrich, Elizabeth Taylor, Maureen O’Hara and Shirley MacLaine were also quite entertaining, depending on the role. As for more contemporary American and international actresses, I consider Angela Bassett, Zoe Saldana, Aishwarya Rai, Michelle Yeoh and Gong Li to be among the best at displaying femininity—and then throwing the entire equation off again.

    Also, sometimes, ideas about what traits are feminine can easily be transferred to what is masculine, with just some rewording. For example, the phrase “show, don’t tell” when mentioning being subtle for women can become a masculine trait; “action speaks louder than words.” However, each of those phrases is used in very different contexts, though they’re ultimately the same thing.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Octavia
      Thanks for de-lurking, and welcome! I have a real soft spot for Maureen O’Hara. Her chemistry with John Wayne in The Quiet Man is extraordinary. By the way, I read that was his favorite film. Interestingly, she starts out as not very feminine at all, like a wild filly, and he tames her. Very un-PC, but it works. Men wanting to learn Game should watch that movie.
      .
      I like your assortment of modern day actresses as well, and agree that they display femininity nicely. Zoe Saldana even made herself incredibly feminine when she was twice the size of the man she loved in Avatar…

  • GudEnuf

    As I predicted, Susan has failed identify a single non-physical trait that men find attractive in women and women find unattractive in men. The first four traits are attractive in men AND women:
    1. Nurturing- Even Susan agrees with me: Women love men who love kids. It makes biological sense: if a woman is going to reproduce, she’s better off with a man who will help take care of the babies.
    2. Playful- Do you know why David DeAngelo is the most financially successful PUA of all time? Because he taught men to be “cocky funny”. It’s really simple actually: the easiest way to attract women is be playful with an arrogant edge. No funny hats, no covert hypnosis. If you’re a woman, I’m sure you’ve seen it work on your friends. And if you’re a man, you ought to give it a try. The results speak for themselves.
    3. Subtlety- If you polled women on the sexiest fictional character of all time, Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice would win in a landslide. The plot is beloved for it’s elaborate dance of double and triple entendres, with playful and subtle interaction between male AND female characters. Mr. Darcy’s dry wit still makes women swoon 200 years later.
    4. Emotional Intelligence- There are women who like short men. There are like fat men. There are even women who like wicked men. But I have never heard of a woman who likes men emotionally-out-of-tune men. Emotional intelligence is a prerequisite to for every relationship, even non-sexual one’s. Frankly, I think it’s absurd that you would call emotional intelligence “feminine”, when it’s a skill that everyone needs to master. Particularly men, who have been taught not to talk about their feelings unless they’re drunk.
    The next two traits deal with physicality, and so are not relevant to our discussion. (I’m not denying that certain physical traits are feminine. I just don’t think that there are feminine non-physical traits.
    Susan’s last example of “femininity” is “appreciation for masculine traits.” But until Susan explains what “masculine traits” are, this phrase is meaningless. (I suspect we’ll run into the same problem’s defining “masculine” as “feminine”).

    To summarize, with the exception of physical traits, all of the supposed “feminine” virtues are as attractive in men as women. Likewise, supposedly “unfeminine” traits are as unattractive in men as women. Even Susan agrees with me here:
    “Personally, I find all of these [unfeminine] behaviors equally unattractive in men. Let’s lose them altogether!”
    So if the same (non-physical) traits that make women attractive make men attractive, and the same traits that make women unattractive make men unattractive, does it really make sense to talk about “femininity” at all? Why do we need to label non-physical certain virtues “feminine” versus “masculine”? Why can’t we all just work on the universal virtues that are attractive in both sexes? I think women AND men should be allowed to be nurturing, playful, subtle and emotionally intelligent. It’s a pity Susan wants to restrict these virtues to the female sex.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @GudEnuf
      Hmmm, I’m kind of surprised by your comment, I didn’t know this was a contest. Also, I think we are quite close in our perceptions. In fact, I kept your POV in mind while writing, and thought I addressed it by clarifying that these traits are on a continuum, and men and women can have a range of traits across the spectrum. Let me take your points one at a time:
      1. Nurturing – did I not specifically express that men are nurturing, but may require encouragement and acceptance to openly display that trait more commonly associated with women? I also said that both sexes are equally capable of love, but display it somewhat differently. Did your mother and father show you exactly the same kind of physical affection, with the same frequency? Both mother and father bonds are extremely important, as we can see in society today, but they are not identical. For starters, women get a head start on the bonding via breastfeeding.
      2. Playful – I agree with everything you say here. What you’ve done is point out that men need coaching to let go and be playful. Yes, women love it, but I’d say only 1 in 100 men are cocky funny. On the other hand, most women have at least a rudimentary knowledge of how to flirt, though I do believe flirting has become a lot more crass in recent years. Also, I specifically focused on coy or coquettish behavior. I believe in men this would be considered simpering and effeminate.
      3. Subtlety – I agree with you about P&P being a favorite, but Mr. Darcy is not subtle. He rudely announces early on that Elizabeth “is not handsome enough to tempt me.” He is extremely direct, lacking the polish and subtlety of gracious manners. It is only when Elizabeth observes his true character that she allows herself to fall. Of course, she is obviously strongly attracted to him from the start, which doesn’t hurt.
      4. Emotional intelligence. Agree that it’s vitally important for everyone. On the other hand, if you read the fine print, I mentioned sensitivity and a certain vulnerability. These are qualities that can disqualify men even as they qualify women in relationships. Also, research shows that women are more adept at reading subtle facial movements and therefore generally are more accurate in deducing the emotional state of others. Again, this is hard-wired.
      .
      I think that all of these traits are, or can be, attractive in both sexes, but not to the same degree. Players are popular with women precisely because they lack sensitivity, empathy and subtlety. Women do dig jerks. Actually, some men dig bitchy women too – hence my recent post about who has boyfriends. Interestingly, quite a few of the male comments expressed that bitches are more feminine, which I admit contradicts a lot of what is being said here. However, most of the guys strongly stated that when very young, physically attractive women who put out are the most desirable partners, and character doesn’t count for much, if anything.
      .
      I find it interesting that you used the word virtues in describing these traits. I specifically avoided that word because I don’t think that femininity or masculinity has anything to do with virtue per se. The serial killer may be masculine. A very feminine woman may be a black widow spider in her character. Rather, these are characteristics that aid in the process of mating. As OffThe Cuff said, if we didn’t want “the other,” “the opposite,” we’d all be bisexual.

  • Plain Jane

    No Susan, I’m not trying to be an annoying facepalm, LOL. But Gudenuff articulates above the same general point but in more detail. And Octavia also touched on it.

  • http://photoncourier.blogspot.com david foster

    Playfulness, etc….Too many people confuse *seriousness* with *solemnity*. There are lots of very serious people who have a strong playful side. There are others, though, who put on solemnity in order to appear to be more serious people than they actually are.

  • Gina

    This is a great article on femininity. As a person who works with teenagers, I see many girls that have none of these qualities. Unfortunately, in the crowd that seems to be considered “popular” many of these girls are either (a) slutty, or (b) act like teenage boys. Group B looks feminine but they act masculine, and this of course is what deems them “popular”. These are the girls that will kick your ass if you look at their boyfriend, or they are the ones that start hate groups against other girls. Many teens who display the traits of nurturing and such are considered weak. This may be why we are seeing so many college students who don’t display these characteristics the way our mothers or grandmothers did.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Gina
      One thing I found interesting as I was researching femininity was that there are quite a few sites that sell ebooks on how to be more feminine. They aren’t even necessarily blogs – just landing pages for selling. This suggests to me that many women are Googling “how to be feminine.” It will be interesting to see how many readers come to this post via Google search.

  • http://ft.com VJ

    I generally liked this, except for all those long dead folks to try & keep up with. But this? Is strangely, quite depressing:

    [Susan said]:
    “Many offered suggestions to avoid distinctly unfeminine behavior in women:

    * Any form of false advertising, including “dumbing down” when men are present to bolster their egos.
    * Treating others with disrespect.
    * Verbal aggression.
    * Extreme verbosity, especially of a whining nature, or coupled with demands.
    * Sarcasm, snark and other forms of “put downs.”
    * Ruthless or competitive behavior.
    * Swearing, use of profanity.
    * Binge drinking.
    * Sexual aggression.
    * Overt attention-seeking behavior/narcissism”.

    To say I’ve rarely met women of almost any age who don’t display or use at least one one of these traits, (I’ll add overt & quite noticeable materialism to the bunch too), is also to recognize how rare such instances are where you do meet anyone not possessing these too! I can not even scarcely think of maybe a handful of older ‘professional women’, who’d not be counted in this number as well. No that’s depressing. Maybe humans were not quite cut out for all this idealized stuff? Cheers, ‘VJ’

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      I generally liked this, except for all those long dead folks to try & keep up with…Maybe humans were not quite cut out for all this idealized stuff?

      Actually, it occurs to me that of course we are talking about idealized fantasy in those movies, especially films made during the Depression or wartime, which many of them were. They represent perhaps what humans should aim for, but maybe we are not cut out for the kind of love and sacrifice that RIck and Ilsa made. or capable of maintaining the naivete of Audrey Hepburn. Still, I think we can do better. I do believe that something has been lost.

  • Rich

    Great article.

  • http://www.relationshiptalk.net/ Arlene

    Great post!
    I never thought of playfulness as a feminine quality. I am not sure its uniquely feminine, but I can say that playfulness in people in general is a delightful quality, and makes them way more attractive..

  • Florence

    That is a great post! I agree with most points, but I do have a remark to make:

    Emotional intelligence:
    “They also enjoy a woman’s emotional vulnerability as a proxy for her emotional health and ability to bond.”

    - I might be misinterpreting you, but men tend to accuse women of being “needy” if they sense the slightest sign of emotional vulnerability.

  • nothingbutthetruth

    “I might be misinterpreting you, but men tend to accuse women of being “needy” if they sense the slightest sign of emotional vulnerability.”
    .
    I don’t think so. If a woman gives LOTS of signs about emotional vulnerability, men consider it needy and run for the hills.
    .
    But an occasional sign of vulnerability every now and then is charming. When a woman shows an occasional vulnerability, the man can reassure her in an alpha way and feel that he helps her. It triggers the “white knight” instinct in us. A man want to be needed by his woman. He want to feel that he can make a difference in the life of his woman. He want to feel he is his woman’s hero. Only then, he can bond with this woman. So emotional vulnerability is good for that.
    .
    But it has to be used with scarcity. If you are often emotionally vulnerable, you can suffocate your man. And it is better to refrain during the first times of the relationship. Wait for having some degree of intimacy with this man to expose your vulnerability.
    .
    This is why “alpha” women are rarely approached. Men think: “She is gorgeous and feels independent, happy and in peace. I cannot give her anything. I have no chance.”. Of course, this gorgeous woman has insecurities and is eager to have somebody to love, but men don’t see this.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      This is why “alpha” women are rarely approached. Men think: “She is gorgeous and feels independent, happy and in peace. I cannot give her anything. I have no chance.”.

      Wow, that’s really interesting. That a man would look at a woman and think “What can I give her?” as opposed to “What can I get from her?” I would have thought the latter was typical for all men – not judging here – it seems natural enough. The former is laudable, though.

  • Wayfinder

    On virtue, the feminine but deadly woman is an archetype herself. The femme fatale has both the fascination and the danger.

    I’d throw in as a rule of thumb for appearance and behaviour, if I can’t tell you’re a woman at a distance I’m not likely to think of you as one when I get closer. The exact form that take probably varies for each women, but getting thought of as one-of-the-guys or (worse) androgynous makes it harder to attract a mate.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Wayfinder

      I’d throw in as a rule of thumb for appearance and behaviour, if I can’t tell you’re a woman at a distance I’m not likely to think of you as one when I get closer.

      Sounds reasonable. Women with extremely short hair and boyish clothes are not likely to turn heads. I think some women actually present themselves this way deliberately, because they are so self-conscious about being stared at. For example, some large-breasted women wear baggy hoodies or keep their coat on wherever they go.

  • http://nebraska.rivals.com/ Big Lou in Lincoln

    Hear hear about binge drinking. Don’t get plowed in public. Here’s a fine essay – by a woman – that covers it well. From the recap for “Dirty Love” – the awful Jenny McCarthy movie, comes this surprisingly astute observation from a young woman:

    “OK, this needs to be said: there are few things more annoying than a drunken woman except a pack of drunken women. I say that both being a woman as well as a woman who’s been drunk her share of times during her seven years at the university. (I’m 105 pounds—two or three drinks and I’m woozy.)

    I’ll start with the disclaimer: guys can, obviously, be as bad. They can be worse if violent. But guys can typically drink a lot more—they’re heavier and their stomachs break down a percentage of alcohol that ours do not.

    In my experience—and this springs from a policy of only drinking around men with a modicum of class—most guys can get comfortably loaded and be quite amusing and fun. It lowers inhibitions. It makes shy guys not-so-shy. They might sing, do magic tricks, read bad poetry in a hammy voice. The pudgy IT guy with the ’50s flattop haircut, short-sleeve dress shirts and the Loony Tunes tie might even dance with you.
    Not so much women. Maybe it’s because our window of “pleasantly inebriated” is narrower, but drunken women seem to have three settings, all equally annoying to me.

    The first setting—and they often come in this order—is that shrieky, shrill, uncontrollable-giggling behavior. You know it—this is the picture-taking, showing-off, drinks-spilled, dance floor-collision setting.

    The second is inhibition-lowered amorous behavior. This is alright if you’re a guy interested in the girl, but it’s less fun to be around if you’re a guy not interested in the girl—or the girlfriend standing right next to the guy being slobbered on by some soused tramp. (Yes dearheart. Down here. That would be me. Back off or I’ll crush your larynx.)

    The third setting is the dreaded, evening-ending, profanity-laden meltdown—a tantrum followed by crying in the restroom and long phone calls. Again, I say this as an occasional (former) sinner—some have hinted that in the distant past I could be a weensy bit outspoken at times. And, just perhaps, some sangria may have factored into the mix.

    The second disclaimer is that, of course, there are exceptions. My grandmother in Pennsylvania can be a hoot with a couple of Brandy Alexanders in her, as witty and fun as any man. But my point is that this scene—and much of this movie—illustrates the very thing I’m talking about.

    Drunken women aren’t that funny. That’s the bottom line. Guys I’ve talked to agree, with the understandable caveat about the sex thing. And instead of helping Dirty Love be the comedy it was intended to be, all this drunkenness (and drug use) serves to make it the polar opposite. Thus endeth the homily.”

    http://jabootu.net/?p=1255

  • http://obsidianraw.bravejournal.com Obsidian

    Hi Ms. Walsh,
    Hoping you and your readers don’t mind the O/T post, but since I mentioned you and your site in today’s post, I thought you should know why; it also clears the air regarding the whys and wherefores my original blog was taken down. You all can check it out here:

    An Open Letter To Timothy “Prolific” Jones: The Sistahood’s Whiteknight, Or Useful Idiot?
    http://obsidianraw.bravejournal.com/entry/60666

    Thanks for allowing me the indulgence! Keep up the good work.

    O.

  • Geoff 2

    You left off “thin” and “skilled in the culinary arts.”

    Critical oversight on both, if by feminine you mean womanly characteristics valued by men.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Geoff 2

      You left off “thin” and “skilled in the culinary arts.”

      Critical oversight on both, if by feminine you mean womanly characteristics valued by men.

      As Badger so amply demonstrated, women do not have a lock on culinary skills – they are neither feminine nor masculine. However, I will attest that cooking and eating with a member of the opposite sex can be extremely sexy and nurturing both. Food can definitely be the way to a man’s heart in my experience.
      .
      As for thin, I did mention health and physical fitness, which will have to suffice. Not every man wants thin. Some like curvy. Some beautiful women who are not thin:
      Scarlett Johanssen
      Kim Kardashian :P
      Salma Hayek
      Jennifer Love Hewitt
      Kate Winslet
      Jennifer Lopez
      Christina Hendricks
      .
      Who am I missing?

  • Badger Nation

    All this talk about vulnerability and neediness brings to mind a recent urbandictionary read:
    .
    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=emotional+dump
    .
    “EMOTIONAL DUMP: Unloading all of your emotional crap unmercifully onto one or more of your friends.
    .
    Jill called today and took the longest emotional dump on me.

  • SayWhaat

    You left off “thin” and “skilled in the culinary arts.”

    Odd, these are manly characteristics I value as well. Funny, that.

  • Plain Jane

    ” capable of maintaining the naivete of Audrey Hepburn.”
    She normalized escorting (ho-ing herself out) in Breakfast At Tiffany’s!

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      She normalized escorting (ho-ing herself out) in Breakfast At Tiffany’s!

      True, but even there she pulls it off, being damaged and all. Ha, another movie where the guy doesn’t care about a woman’s past!

  • http://mail2doors.wordpress.com bling bing

    I have a hard time acting feminine. I always try to do the opposite.

  • Plain Jane

    ” I’m not sure why it’s offensive to some to consider that the sexes are inherently different, even opposite.”
    I’m not offended but as Gudenuff pointed out more than once – all of these non-physical characteristics/personality traits are desireable in men as well.

    As far as ability to hold down alcohol, that various between ethnic groups. Ever seen that East or South Asian guy at the club who was smashed after 2 drinks?

    A desire for thinness is also culture dependent. Heck, even here in the USA there are men who like “a little men on their bones” and Black men are famous for that. Although, contrary to what some critics say, Black men do not desire Monique or Precious style fat. They like “thick” not fat. There’s a huge (pun!) difference.

  • Plain Jane

    ”a little men on their bones” obviously means to read ” a little MEAT on their bones”. LOL

  • Badger Nation

    Susan,
    .
    “Who am I missing?”
    .
    You are missing: truly fat women. Thin does not mean non-curvy or boyish figure, it means don’t have unnecessary “meat” on your bones.

  • Badger Nation

    “Ha, another movie where the guy doesn’t care about a woman’s past!”
    .
    I thought he was playing Captain Save-A-Ho?

  • Rhen

    Nurturing: I agree that this is feminine and is very attractive to men. But there’s only a certain amount of need-for-nurturing that women will tolerate in a man before it becomes irritating to her//that amount differs from case to case, of course.

    Also agree that emotional vulnerability in a woman is attractive up to a certain level. It matters how the vulnerability is shown; out-of-control behavior is rarely attractive. Generally, the amount of emotional vulnerability that a woman can show in a relationship is MUCH higher than that a man can show.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Rhen

      Generally, the amount of emotional vulnerability that a woman can show in a relationship is MUCH higher than that a man can show.

      This is so true! Women are always attracted to the poets and balladeers, but if they turn out to be as emo and needy as their lyrics, we lose interest fast. In truth, women do not want to see emotional vulnerability in a man until they are in love, and even then not often. When I see it among men in my own family, I rally and offer support, but I am wishing they will pull themselves together and be strong asap.

  • Bizzaro-Geoff

    Thanks Badger,

    Too many attempts to play “gotcha” when I say something in favor of traditional marriage roles. To wit:
    1. SayWhaat saying she also likes MEN to be thin and good cooks. I don’t believe she really means she wants a man to be thin and wear an apron. Wasn’t a bad line on her part, just irrelevant to the conversation.
    2. I suspect Susan knows that when I said “thin” I meant “non-fat”…and why Kim Kardashian has a smiley face with a tongue lolling out is…indecipherable to me. I wouldn’t touch KK with a 10 foot pole, nor any smaller poles I might have in my possession.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Bizzaro-Geoff
      Sorry, the KK tongue was a HUS inside joke of sorts. A couple of months ago we had a major slap down arguing who was hotter – Kim K or Natalie Portman. I was on team Natalie, so today I was just being sassy in switching sides…
      .
      I didn’t realize you meant not fat, though that’s reasonable. I differentiated because there really are many “not fat” women who think they are fat. The anorexic look still prevails among young women.

  • Mike C

    I’m not offended but as Gudenuff pointed out more than once – all of these non-physical characteristics/personality traits are desireable in men as well.
    .
    Yes, but what both Gudenuff and you are missing is that “playful” for men isn’t the same as “playful” for women, although I suspect Gudenuff is arguing this point just for the sake of argument.
    .
    Sure, both men and women being playful is a good thing. But it is the particularities of actual playful behavior that make the difference. For guys, playful is that playful teasing, playful dominance, playful cocky. For women it is playful flirtation, lightness, etc.
    .
    I’ll give you two specific examples in my relationship. My GF will sometimes start messing around, being a little feisty, and I’ll grab her, forcefully, but NOT painfully in any way, and pin her arms down and tell her “she needs discipline”. I”m playing around, being playful, but it is playful dominance, it is masculine, and I can’t speak for all women, but I can tell you this turns her on massively. Somehow, I doubt this would have the same effect if she tried to pin me down by thea arms on either her or me. On the flipside, she’ll play these kind of playful, goofy, peek-a-boo games where she’ll just kind of barely peer around the corner like she is trying to be sly. Being playful. I suspect if I did that it would mostly come across as effeminate. So the key is that the playfulness for men and women is completely different.
    .
    I could easily extend this to the other traits as well with specific examples. Male nurturing wouldn’t be the same as female nurturing.
    .
    Really, if you ponder this with real-life behavior you’ll see this is obvious and to say otherwise either seems obtuse, or simply wanting to argue something because of a ideological bias.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Mike C
      I loved your stories from your own relationship. I think your GF sounds just great. I’m picturing a big, strong guy peeking and mincing around the corner, and I am cracking up. It’s a ridiculous thought. Also, a woman grabbing a man and saying “You need discipline” sounds a bit creepy and gestapo-like. This is an excellent illustration, and it really drives home the point that we tailor or behaviors to what the other sex finds sexy, or endearing, or funny – whatever.

  • Mike C

    Nurturing: I agree that this is feminine and is very attractive to men. But there’s only a certain amount of need-for-nurturing that women will tolerate in a man before it becomes irritating to her//that amount differs from case to case, of course.
    .
    Absolutely. I think the danger for a guy is demanding too much nurturing and triggering the “I’m not your Mother, I don’t want to be your Mom” effect.
    .
    I can’t say for sure, but I’d guess there is no bigger turn-off to a woman then to feel like she has to play Mom to a little boy.

  • Ted

    Mice C is right–real men nurture themselves with a shotglass, bottle of JD, and a Willie Nelson CD.

  • Plain Jane

    Nurturing shows itself in gestures of care for other adult human beings, I hope. Making a cooing bee-line for babies and kittens when they enter a social scene is something I never do.

  • Plain Jane

    “Mice C is right–real men nurture themselves with a shotglass, bottle of JD, and a Willie Nelson CD.”
    I think everyone nurtures themselves these days by logging online. Just see how much time we’re spending here!

  • Plain Jane

    “This is why “alpha” women are rarely approached. Men think: “She is gorgeous and feels independent, happy and in peace. I cannot give her anything. I have no chance.”.”
    ……………………………………..

    “Wow, that’s really interesting. That a man would look at a woman and think “What can I give her?” as opposed to “What can I get from her?” I would have thought the latter was typical for all men – not judging here – it seems natural enough. The former is laudable, though.”
    ________________________________

    I think the same thing when I see a really handsome, well put together guy who gives off “got it all” vibes.
    They probably have their pick of women. What could I offer that another can’t?

  • SayWhaat

    @Bizzaro-Geoff:

    I actually like skinny men. And both my parents know how to cook. Traditional gender roles…?

  • terre

    Women are generally loathe to admit that sex differences exist because they harbor a deep-seated envy of the male role, a la Schopenhauer: “[woman] is everywhere and always relegated to a merely indirect domination…”; that is to say, man is in possession of an objective ego that justifies itself, while woman only holds an ego that must justify itself on the part of the species. Hence women clamor for a sanitized version of the male responsiblity (going to work, facing the true threat of death, having no innate value, et al). Most women probably don’t feel this envy often because the female role has tremendous perks, but a few do. And they’re definitely the loudest.

  • Plain Jane

    “Also, a woman grabbing a man and saying “You need discipline” sounds a bit creepy and gestapo-like.”
    If she’s hot men will be very turned on by it.

  • Gina

    @ Susan

    It is interesting that there are actually books on how to be more feminine. I guess that there are more people than we think that would like to see young women display more feminine qualities. As a mother of an 18 year old daughter, I can tell you that I was much more feminine at her age than she is. My good friend has a 21 year old daughter who she feels fall far from being this. She gets so angry at her because she is messy, screams profanity, and is aggressive all while wearing her 3-inch heals. She told me that this is why her daughter never has dates. My friend is also from Turkey (her daughter was raised here) thinks American women are harsh in general.

    @SayWhaat

    My ex-husband is from Morocco. He was skinny and the best cook ever! I definately miss his cooking! I know that someone posted they think this is irrelevant but who cares!

  • pjay

    Ingrid Berman was not in North by Northwest.

    I think the Hitchcock film you are thinking of is Notorious.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @pjay
      OMG, don’t tell my husband. Notorious is his favorite film. Ha, glad my error got you to de-lurk, it’s been awhile!

  • http://thunear.wordpress.com Thunear

    @Susan: the clearer it became to me that neither sex gets to define what femininity is. It just is.

    Bingo. You got it.

    IMV and for that matter in my experience, all a woman has to do to be ‘feminine’ is to be true to her nature.

  • http://photoncourier.blogspot.com david foster

    This post & thread reminded me of some passages in the book “Archetypes,” by the Jungian psychologist Anthony Stevens, who finds it useful to divide the female archetype into several subcategories:

    –The Mother..tends to be impersonal or collective in the sense of being instinctive and conventional in the sense of being instinctive and conventional in concern with gestation, nurturance, and home-making…represented by the Great Mother, Natural, Demeter, etc.

    –The Hetaira or “Love Goddess, exemplified by Aphrodite..concerned with getting her man and relating to him at the intensely personal level rather than taking on the social role/responsibilities implicit in becoming a wife and mother. May remain the eternal daughter or sister and live the provisional life.

    –The Amazon..independent and self-sufficient; in modern life she is the career woman. (Book was published in 1982.) Functions as comrade or competitor rather than wife or mother; orientation not towards individuals but tends to be impersonal and objective.

    –The Medium…lives in close relationship with the collective unconsciousness; she is immersed in her subjective experience and speaks with the conviction of an oracle. There is something essentially uncanny about her, as if she had access to knowledge denied to most of us.

    (Above loosely quoted from the book)

    Stevens also offers a similar subcategorization of the male archetype.

  • Rhen

    Also, one of the most defeminizing things a woman can do is to try and control everything and everybody. I’m not talking about areas where she has a legitimate need to control, such as a group she runs at work, I’m talking about the woman who has to always decide where the group or the couple will have dinner, who has to take charge of the ordering in the restaurant, who ALWAYS knows a better way there and back than whoever is driving, etc. These are unpleasant characteristics in a man, too, but they’re not “demasculizing” in the same way they’re defeminizing.

  • Plain Jane

    @Susan: the clearer it became to me that neither sex gets to define what femininity is. It just is.

    @ Thunear: Bingo. You got it.

    IMV and for that matter in my experience, all a woman has to do to be ‘feminine’ is to be true to her nature.
    ———————————–

    What is true to many individuals natures can be deemed “unfeminine” in the opinion of others.

  • rick

    Nurturing

    …Mike C shared a poem that he found at Roissy today…

    Roissy got taken to task for being ‘gay’ and ‘beta’ over this post. The critics are missing the bigger point. Women are what gives men meaning in life. We can make do as a ‘man going their own way’, but this is nothing more than a necessary substitute, and an inferior one at that. The critics of this little poem are actually probably the lower betas and omegas who talk very tough about going it alone and being alpha and banging lots of girls. My guess is that any high-number PUA actually would understand and agree. Women are the givers of a man’s will to thrive.

    The problem is that so many women want to reward and nurture the worst kind of men. Therefore, cads are empowered, and good men are left to wither on the vine.

    Men crave a nurturing and tender touch from women, and women enjoy bestowing it.

    Yes, but To a man of sufficiently high status.

    Playful

    Again – playful and coquettish to high-status men. Ice-cold rejection of all others.

    Subtlety

    Extinct in American women for the most part. They are mostly quite vulgar in the younger age groups.

    Emotional Intelligence

    They need the support of women, and they appreciate good listening skills.

    True. Most of us must make do without it.

    They also enjoy a woman’s emotional vulnerability as a proxy for her emotional health and ability to bond. One man said that he wants a woman to have sex like a woman, and that means emotional intimacy. Men will avoid committing to a woman who does not “have eyes only for them.”

    Don’t sleep around, basically.

    Pride in feminine appearance

    Modesty was mentioned as having more allure than brash display of physical assets.

    Another proxy for sexual faithfulness. Women who crave male attention are more likely to cheat, because male attention is the fuel that they run on.

    Female physicality

    True.

    Appreciation for masculine traits

    These days, American women only appreciate masculine traits in the most crude way. Watching women fall for the typical alpha in Karen Owen fashion is like watching someone smother a steak in ketchup. Without appreciation for nuance or meaningful qualities, obsessed only with the most overt and superficial aspects, easily led. Like a stupid 15 year old kid who wants his subwoofer thumping away constantly.

  • karen

    @rick
    “The problem is that so many women want to reward and nurture the worst kind of men. Therefore, cads are empowered, and good men are left to wither on the vine.”
    I would say that the same is true for women. So many women want to meet a good man but are left to wither on the vine as many men chase after hot bitches. Today I had lunch with a female who is always getting guys. However, she is a promiscuous, self-centered, manipulative, scheming female who only desires to marry a rich guy. She early on lets men know that she expects lots of money to be spent on her or else she’ll dump them. And the guys agree to it. They buy her expensive clothing, jewelry, purses, shoes, etc. and only take her out to the best restaurants. She is exactly the type of female that many men talk negatively about but yet she still gets men. It was very draining being with her because I am the total opposite of her and don’t have her values. She is a female cad and I’ve known many decent guys who will do bascially anything to be able to call her their girlfriend. What gives? It is very discouraging seeing that this type of female is getting so much male attention when there are many decent females who are single. And I am not talking about young guys in college. These guys already have their degrees and are in their prime marrying years. Do guys just say they want a nice girl because they think it is the right thing to say, when they really want a LTR with this type of female?

  • http://photoncourier.blogspot.com david foster

    Rick…”like watching someone smother a steak in ketchup”..nicely put. Reminds me of someone’s analogy about golf and the new players needed so many rules because they have no intuitive feel for the behavior patterns that are expected.

    If a person learns a behavior mainly from the media…or, still worse, mainly from professors with an axe to grind..then it is probably going to be done clumsily to the point of self-parody.

  • OffTheCuff

    I would say that the same is true for women. So many women want to meet a good man but are left to wither on the vine as many men chase after hot bitches.

    Karen, I don’t think it’s an total comparison, even if there is some similarity. We just discussed this a few days ago. Men will put up with a beautiful bitchy woman because she’s hot, but he’s not specifically attracted to bitchness, and will wish she wasn’t. Women will be attracted to assholish behavior in the first place because it is a form of social dominance, which attractive in itself to women.
    .
    Men put up with mean women, but women often like mean men.

  • Sox

    Great post. Like I’ve written elsewhere, it’s really just the ego and the harsh edges that turn me off. Maybe it’s just the area I live in, but early dates around here usually feel more like a job interview or a competition than actually getting to know someone. And as I wrote, all that attitude is really a house of cards that collapses the second you stop playing their game. Insecurity covered up by a massive ego, the perfect embodiment of narcissism.
    .
    Sarcasm isn’t feminine, it can look bad enough on guys but it’s even worse on women.

  • Plain Jane

    “Watching women fall for the typical alpha in Karen Owen fashion is like watching someone smother a steak in ketchup. ”

    NEWSFLASH, Karen Owen didn’t “fall” for those guys. She was using them for sex. Then she rated them, wrote about it and send it to friends. She pwnd them.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      NEWSFLASH, Karen Owen didn’t “fall” for those guys. She was using them for sex. Then she rated them, wrote about it and send it to friends. She pwnd them.

      No, she didn’t. Women cannot use men for sex, not really. She was trying to beat them at their own game, and she failed miserably. She’s a woman who will most likely never find a partner. She provided no-strings sex, but she craved more, and she rated them first and foremost on how much they seemed to truly like her and show her some affection.

  • Höllenhund

    “Women are what gives men meaning in life.”

    It should be obvious to everyone that such a co-dependent mindset of scarcity is rather dangerous.

  • Dalton

    “Women are what gives men meaning in life.”

    One of the mostly clearly wrong things I’ve seen in a while. Wow. Sort of a negative image of truth.

  • Mike C

    @ Karen,
    .
    She is a female cad and I’ve known many decent guys who will do bascially anything to be able to call her their girlfriend. What gives? It is very discouraging seeing that this type of female is getting so much male attention when there are many decent females who are single. And I am not talking about young guys in college. These guys already have their degrees and are in their prime marrying years. Do guys just say they want a nice girl because they think it is the right thing to say, when they really want a LTR with this type of female?
    .
    This was covered pretty exhaustively in the comments section of the post on this subject of men liking bitches.
    .
    Question. What does this girl look like? Is she physically attractive?
    .
    And I’ll make this point again, because I think it bears repeating, and I think few woman can really fathom it. Very few men have a ton of options. To some degree, many guys take what they can get, and if they land a HOT demanding bitch who categorically states they must spend a ton of money on her, they will do that.
    .
    This is speculation on my part, and certainly not universally applicable, but I think “nice” girls suffer from a similar problem as “nice” guys.
    .
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TN3_urefvk4

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Mike C
      I’ve never come across Kezia before. Is she good? I’m no expert on accents, but I’ve watched enough BBC to know that hers is very uneducated. I’m surprised she hasn’t done something about that. It’s like chalk on a blackboard.

  • rick

    Would all of you heroes rather live in a perfect paradise with no women, or an imperfect world with women?

    I rest my case. Ultimately, without the love of a worthy (key word here) woman, life is not all that meaningful.

    MOST women are not capable of giving this kind of support to man, but it is the ideal.

  • Lavazza

    rick: Add enough qualifications to your statement and the difference between the perfect paradise and the imperfect world will be of no consequence.

  • rick

    I’m going to go with the Biblical account, “It is not good for man to be alone.”

    Sometimes it is necessary, and for some of us it may be necessary for a whole lifetime, but how much better it is with a loving woman. Life doesn’t have much going for it without at least the chance of finding a good one.

  • Höllenhund

    Your intentions don’t matter in this case, rick. Generally speaking, all actions must be evaluated according to their consequences, not the supposed intentions behind them. The fact is, telling a young man that women give meaning to his life is encouraging him to approach life with a mindset of scarcity and inferiority as a supplicating beta, and therefore one of the greatest acts of disservice that can be done to him. If you told a young girl that men will give meaning to her life, all women would be outraged.

  • Dalton

    “Would all of you heroes rather live in a perfect paradise with no women, or an imperfect world with women?”

    I’m not a “hero” whatever you may mean by that. In any event, speaking strictly for myself, I would take the former, although I would need a lot more information and clarification. I am unsure how it could be a “perfect paradise” without attractive women.

    “I rest my case.”

    What was your case? My case is that, speaking strictly for myself, my happiness is not dependant on the presence of any particular woman, who I find attractive in turn, to love and support me. Is such a thing a positive? Certainly. Is such a thing necessary for happiness and is my life doomed to meaninglessness without such a thing? Certainly not.

    “Ultimately, without the love of a worthy (key word here) woman, life is not all that meaningful.”

    The meaningfulness of my life does not hinge on the presence of the love of a worthy woman.

  • Mike C

    I’ve never come across Kezia before. Is she good?
    .
    I don’t know. I just sort of stumbled across her video, and thought she did make a good point about what being “nice” sometimes implies. Whether male or female, being a nice guy or nice girl isn’t enough. Attractive and interesting obviously beats nice.
    .
    My guess is she saw the market opportunity in teaching guys, and I think being a “hot girl” helps from a marketing perspective in terms of “I will teach you how to get girls like me”. Whether she is effective or not, I don’t know. As we’ve discussed before, I think very few women have really done the difficult examination/self-introspection as to what they really find sexually attractive which is why women often say one thing while responding to something completely different.

  • Plain Jane

    Just watch the video. This British girl has no stage presence and she’s not motivational. Not a dynamic public speaker at all. However reading the comments from the guys below the video;
    “@ThaLynx men can tolerate advice from other men because they’re both in the same camp, so to speak. when it comes from women, there’s something intolerably cruel and spiteful about it; that’s because women have immensely more sexual power and they ultimately make the choices. it’s not pleasant to hear a woman take her attractiveness for granted.”

    I have to say this resentment and envy of womens’ choice is something that men WILL have to get over. Its almost as though men feel entitled to women choosing them. I understand that placing one in the approacher’s seat can and does lead to rejection. I’ve also experienced that and it’s not fun. However I think that could be avoided by ONLY approaching women who signal to you FIRST. Put yourself in their field of vision and if one smiles at you or stares, THEN approach. Otherwise don’t.
    Internet dating sites have eliminated the need to put oneself in the crushing position of having to cold approach women. I recommend them.

  • mike

    This last comment by Plain Jane is one of the dumbest I’ve ever read on this site.

  • Plain Jane

    What’s wrong with internet dating Mike? There’s even people that marry from it.

  • OffTheCuff

    True, mike.
    .

    I have to say this resentment and envy of womens’ choice is something that men WILL have to get over.

    Absolutely true. However, talking about this power of choice, and how you wield it filters the kind of men that approach you, and how you will reap what you sow, is not “envy” or “misogyny”.
    .

    I understand that placing one in the approacher’s seat can and does lead to rejection. However I think that could be avoided by ONLY approaching women who signal to you FIRST. Put yourself in their field of vision and if one smiles at you or stares, THEN approach. Otherwise don’t.

    Now here’s where you run off the rails again. It’s technically true, but not helpful.
    .
    Avoiding rejection, based on lack of signals will all but guarantee failure. Men must learn to accept rejection and not take it personally, not learn to avoid it. Everyone woman has a different signals, or none. We can’t learn them.
    .
    You seem to be thinking that men might avoid becoming bitter if they don’t experience rejection. Hardly so. A guy who never approaches out of rejection fear is just as worse off as a man who’s been rejected a million times. The end result is the same: zero. The solution to BOTH is to not give a shit about being rejected in the first place.

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  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjBtjE4WeZA MaMu1977

    My take on these qualifications-

    * Any form of false advertising, including “dumbing down” when men are present to bolster their egos.

    No man wants to marry a “dumb” woman. For one thing, if she’s too stupid to take care of herself, then how’s she going to take care of children, or finances or anything else? A point for this one.

    * Treating others with disrespect.

    Your woman is a representation of yourself (in the same way, you are a representation of your women in her circles, whether she’s a SAHM, working mother or just your average employed female.) A woman who displays unwarranted self-importance reflects badly on her husband (as in, he gains the position of being henpecked or flat-out abusive in the eyes of her social circle.) A point for this one as well

    * Verbal aggression.

    After a hard day’s work, noone wants to come home to BMCing (bitching, moaning and complaining), regardless of reason (unless the reason is literally life or death.) A wife who bitches at her husband for buying $1000+ gold clubs when their child needs braces is one thing, a wife who bitches at her husband for buying a “cloudy” diamond or for not making it to their son’s championship basketball game (despite the fact that his redeployment from Iraq was delayed) is a whole other kettle of fish. 1/2 a point for this one.

    * Extreme verbosity, especially of a whining nature, or coupled with demands.

    This goes hand in hand with an inability to understand the value of money (something that infects a bizarre amount of American women). You meet them, they’re comfortable with franchises and home-made dinners. You get serious, their life circumstances are attached to yours, then suddenly their financial needs expands rapidly (while your own income stays the same.) You try to work more hours, but she complains about the alkc of time spent at home, etc. Another point for this one

    * Sarcasm, snark and other forms of “put downs.”

    Everything has it’s place. Although unwarranted self-importance/snobbery is a bit of a turn-off, no man wants to be married to a woman who sees her lot in life as a drudge or a misery sponge. A woman who campaigns to visit a certain place (restaurant, country, etc.), is disappointed by the results of her campaign, but is adult enough to have a snide remark or two about the event(s) is far preferable to a woman who decides to assign the entire burden to her husband’s shoulders or “tries to make the best of the situation” (as in, “Well, at least we left before the volcano erupted…”) And even then, placement is key. A woman who calls me her “little gullible/horny goofball” while laying in my lap and rubbing her pantsless bottom against my crotch is going to come across as being far more pleasant than a woman whose link to my Facebook reads “dickless wonder” because the prior night was the first in months in which I didn’t respond to her sexual come-on. 1/2 point for this one as well (then again, I liked Daria, so my system may be considered to be a bit screwy.)

    * Ruthless or competitive behavior.

    There’s an old joke about a man who makes an ass of himself at a Christmas party, gets fired, then discovers that he was rehired because his wife slept with his boss. In te abovementioned case, a “mature” (for given levels of emotionally mature) woman might even look the other way if her husband comes home an hour late one night. That kind of “ruthless” (while disturbing in and of itself) would be seen in a far better light than the idea of a wife who can’t let go of the fact that she lost a game of Pictionary or Charades. 1/2 point for this one.

    * Swearing, use of profanity.

    Once again, depends on the environment. Americans live sterile lives (from a generic standpoint). In other Anglophone countries (even among the British middle class), the idea of a woman who knows how and when to drop an F-bomb or relatively benign racial slur/comment wouldn’t be seen as immoral. Living in Europe for three years, i was witness to plenty of otherwise upstanding women who (in the proper environment{s}) had no problem with using language that wouldn’t fly at their jobs or in church. There’s a world of difference between being the woman in a sauna who talks about a man’s “nice ass” and a woman who calls the counter jockey at the local KFC a “fucking asshole”. Another 1/2 point for this one. Men (at least, the ones that I know) don’t want “sterile” women (IOW, immature girls with working vaginas), we want women women. The occasional “God, that guy’s such a prick” or “Really, 5 bucks for a dozen loaves of stale bread, than’s fukcing ridiculous!” doesn’t bother us at all…

    * Binge drinking.

    If I don’t get stupid drunk in public, then I’m not going to attach to myself to a woman who feels the need to become a soppy mess as soon as the waiter pours the first glass of CS or Piesport. And the chick at the bar with her teta hanging out who pays her bar tab with multiple $20 is flat out. One more point for that one.

    * Sexual aggression.

    This is another nebulous one. No “mature” man condemns a woman for knowing what she wants, how she wants it and when she wants it. We’d rather deal with that type of woman than deal with a “starfish” who takes what’s given to her, then mopes and complains about her lack of fulfillment to her girlfriends. That being said, as a man who’s been to a nudist beach or ten in his life, the easiest way to be placed in my friend zone is to be the woman who taps my shoulder and says “Damn, that guy’s schwanze is bigger than yours!” If I make the effort to get you in the mood, if I make the effort to avoid ogling, if I make the effort to treat you with some level of sexual respect, I don’t want to be attached to a woman who thinks with her clit. 1/2 point for this one.

    * Overt attention-seeking behavior/narcissism.
    Turn-off, utter turn-off. Narcissism, IMO, all but equals “Daddy issues”. “Daddy issues” equals waking up in an empty house with an empty savings account and a subpoena from a lawyer (or, conversely, waking up in a jail cell because you married a woman who thinks that “hitting=love” and decides to trigger that instinct by fucking some dude in your own bed.) It’s not worth the bother, not in the least, never mind the fact that narcissists are very expensive to maintain. One last point.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @MaMu
      Thanks for the thoughtful response, and the unique scoring system!

  • Athlone McGinnis

    I’m going to add an acting example from a movie I just saw.

    Q’orianka Kilcher in “New World”(opposite Colin Farrell and Christian Bale). A few short examples below:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O9u69bRcK0M&feature=related
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xn7hHKVrTMY&feature=related
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8p74-QeMX8&feature=related

    Not an ounce of masculinity in that performance at all. The actress was amazing, IMO, and embodied pure femininity extremely well(enough to capture me for 2 hours and win a couple of awards from critics, at least). She was sexy, but vulnerable, extremely coy but also caring and determined to boot. And it all looked so natural to. I’ve seen a few real girls who like to PRETEND to have some of these elements for the sake of getting validation from men(read: attention whores). Their mimicry doesn’t even come close to this and isn’t hard to see through. This actress just made it seem so natural, effortless. No ulterior motives(gold digging, status-whoring) or superficial goals(attention seeking)…just a natural love for the sake of love.

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen such pure femininity on display in real life, let alone gotten to experience it as a part of a relationship. I hear it might still exist in some other parts of the world, and that makes sense-this actress had to have drawn that performance from someplace. I hope to enjoy it at least a little before I die.

    Any decent looking girl who can come even CLOSE to that can make many a man’s heart melt like a snowcone in Dubai. I guarantee it.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Athlone
      She is really lovely, that’s a very good illustration. It’s interesting that you should mention women who fake femininity – I just started a book today about the art of negotiation, and the author says in the first chapter that any negotiation is doomed if you fake anything – your leverage, your goals, your vulnerabilities. He believes that the most successful negotiations can only occur if there is genuine emotion involved. If women are faking femininity, they’re doing it as part of a negotiation to get male attention. I’m not surprised you’d see right through it. I’m sure most men can – they just choose to go along for other reasons.

  • Plain Jane

    @Athlone McGinnis, “I don’t think I’ve ever seen such pure femininity on display in real life, let alone gotten to experience it as a part of a relationship.”

    – That’s because its a movie, Athlone. Fantasy. Idealization and romanticization of the “natives”.

    You also say, “I hear it might still exist in some other parts of the world”

    – Again, thats because people tend to idealize and romanticize foreign cultures. Its called “exotification”.

    Rather than drawing examples from fantasy movies and ideas about “other lands” perhaps we should look to men and women from our families or social circles that exemplify characters and personality traits that we find admirable.

    I was also smitten with Colin Ferrel’s portrayal of Smith in those clips but I know the chances of me meeting a man like that are zero, because its a movie. Colin Ferrel ain’t even like that in real life.

  • Pingback: Gender Construction | Gender

  • Athlone McGinnis

    Plain Jane said: “– That’s because its a movie, Athlone. Fantasy. Idealization and romanticization of the “natives”.
    You also say, “I hear it might still exist in some other parts of the world”
    – Again, thats because people tend to idealize and romanticize foreign cultures. Its called “exotification”.
    Rather than drawing examples from fantasy movies and ideas about “other lands” perhaps we should look to men and women from our families or social circles that exemplify characters and personality traits that we find admirable.”
    Athlone McGinnis: Ah, but therein lies the catch.
    I do hear about these foreign lands and exotic women on the internet plenty, that’s true.
    But I’m also not speaking from the perspective of an American(not a normal one, anyway). Most of my family is still in my homeland, and the women embody many of the highly feminine traits i sort of wax on about above, which is part of why my reaction to the video was so strong. Why? Traditional Jamaican culture breeds women who are quite different from the ones we see in America. My mother, grandmother, aunts and little cousins turned out the way they did because that culture facilitates the growth of that type of femininity.
    I’ve seen it first hand-it isn’t a mere idealistic extrapolation. That type of femininity does still exist. And I’m fairly certain mine isn’t the only culture still turning out such women.
    That talk you hear about foreign women is about a lot more than simplistic “exotification”. Write it off at your own peril.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      That talk you hear about foreign women is about a lot more than simplistic “exotification”. Write it off at your own peril.

      I have to agree with this. As I described it, the loss of femininity is directly attributable to the Women’s Movement. Countries who followed the U.S. will also have less feminine women, and countries where women are oppressed will have women who fit the “demure, submissive” description of femininity that some men prefer. I don’t think American women can or should aim for that – but we can certainly do a lot to cultivate our femininity, which will lessen the gap between us and foreign women.

  • Athlone McGinnis

    Susan: If women are faking femininity, they’re doing it as part of a negotiation to get male attention. I’m not surprised you’d see right through it. I’m sure most men can – they just choose to go along for other reasons.
     
    Athlone McGinnis: I agree with your author and with your general statement. It is a negotiation tactic for male attention-I find that in the modern american dating scene, faking is alarmingly common from women.
    It works because, believe it or not, most men can’t see through that type of deception. I couldn’t do it this time last year because, like most betas, I was blinded to even the most basic truths of female operation in this sexual marketplace. Most men are like I was-easy marks.
    For most women, those negotiations work and they often get the much better end of the deal.

  • Sox

    That talk you hear about foreign women is about a lot more than simplistic “exotification”. Write it off at your own peril.
    .
    Agreed.  My experiences abroad corroborate this.

  • Athlone McGinnis

    Susan: I have to agree with this. As I described it, the loss of femininity is directly attributable to the Women’s Movement. Countries who followed the U.S. will also have less feminine women, and countries where women are oppressed will have women who fit the “demure, submissive” description of femininity that some men prefer. I don’t think American women can or should aim for that – but we can certainly do a lot to cultivate our femininity, which will lessen the gap between us and foreign women.
     
    Athlone: Yes, that’s basically correct. Countries like the UK are quite similar to the US. 
    Countries where women are oppressed also tend to have much more feminine women, but there are exceptions even to that rule.
    There are cultures in which the women are highly educated(more so in some ways than even American or British women) and enjoy fairly high levels of emancipation while maintaining their femininity.
    That’s why so many guys are fond of East Asia. Places like Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore and Hong Kong are filled with driven women who have become quite accomplished without losing their femininity.
    American women ought to learn from them, because if there is one thing I’ve found it is this: sexual empowerment does not stem from raw sex appeal or the apparent willingness to provide casual sex. As I’ve commented before, that only gets women men that they don’t really want.
    For quality guys, their true kryptonite is raw, pure femininity. Its tough for me to describe exactly how it feels, but I can tell you that its your best shot at getting a quality guy to wife you.
    And they’ll know when you’re faking it.

  • Cercando di capire

    That’s why so many guys are fond of East Asia. Places like Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore and Hong Kong are filled with driven women who have become quite accomplished without losing their femininity.

    .
    It’s funny that those are all places with sub-replacement fertility levels. This furthers my hunch that the “femininity” a lot of people are speaking of here is an illusion of class and culture.  I mean, at the barest minimum, femininity and masculinity should be about creating, nurturing and protecting a next generation.
     

  • Plain Jane

    Cercando, point well taken!  I’d like to ask the commenters here how many countries they’ve travelled to, to be able to make these assumptions.  My own record of travel is well into the double digits. 
    ——

    @ Athlone, “It is a negotiation tactic for male attention-I find that in the modern american dating scene, faking is alarmingly common from women.
    It works because, believe it or not, most men can’t see through that type of deception. I couldn’t do it this time last year because, like most betas, I was blinded to even the most basic truths of female operation in this sexual marketplace. Most men are like I was-easy marks.
    For most women, those negotiations work and they often get the much better end of the deal.”
    ——
    You mean there are women PUAs as well!?!?!?
    Who knew?
    *
    Another question for Athlone, you know the stereotype of Jamaican men and women here, don’t you?  It’s not the pretty picture you paint above.
    I assume you come from the upper class.

  • Athlone McGinnis

    Cercando de Capire: It’s funny that those are all places with sub-replacement fertility levels. This furthers my hunch that the “femininity” a lot of people are speaking of here is an illusion of class and culture.  I mean, at the barest minimum, femininity and masculinity should be about creating, nurturing and protecting a next generation.

    Athlone: I believe that femininity and masculinity are largely a function of class and culture.
    I do not think that low birth rates preclude the expression of femininity unless you link it primarily with reproduction and the act of being a mother. While that is a big component of it for me as well(I want a lot of kids), I think a girl can display a strong degree of femininity in a multitude of other ways, so I wouldn’t say that a lack of motherhood necessarily precludes a girl(or in this case, a whole group of girls) from being considered extremely feminine. Her demeanor and behavioral characteristics count for a lot as well, IMO.
    That, and there are many reasons for low birth rates that might not necessarily have much relation to the feminine/masculine disposition of the genders in any given country.
     

  • Sox

    @PJ
    I’ve been to around 25 countries and lived in 3…thing is I think guys are generally more equipped to notice femininity than women are.

  • Plain Jane

    “I’ve been to around 25 countries and lived in 3…thing is I think guys are generally more equipped to notice femininity than women are.”

    Did you live amongst a wide variety of socio-economic levels?

  • Athlone McGinnis

    Plain Jane: You mean there are women PUAs as well!?!?!?
    Who knew?

    Athlone McGinnis: American society makes it laughably easy for women to play men like harps. The term “female PUA” has no meaning here. It requires no effort. 

    Plain Jane: Another question for Athlone, you know the stereotype of Jamaican men and women here, don’t you?  It’s not the pretty picture you paint above.

    Athlon McGinnis: It is also, like many stereotypes, not necessarily accurate.

    Plain Jane: I assume you come from the upper class.

    Athlone McGinnis: My family is among the most influential on the island. It would be disingeuous of me not to admit my speaking from a position of relative privilege.

    Regardless of this, it should be noted that the relatively enhanced level of femininity I speak of concerning Jamaican women as compared to American females(specifically black american females who are biologically similar and make for a more useful general comparison) is not limited to females of my class.

  • Plain Jane

    “My family is among the most influential on the island. It would be disingeuous of me not to admit my speaking from a position of relative privilege.”

    You’re a Marley!
    ;)
    Well, that, combined with your atheletic build plus your desire for an actual “relationship” should make you a “catch” anywhere on the globe.  Yet I’ve read where you write about not being wanted by the women at your college.
    Do you think its racial?
    Do you limit yourself to any particular race of woman?

  • Athlone McGinnis

    Plain Jane: You’re a Marley!
    Athlone McGinnis: No, we deal more in business, government and education. My cousin is a musician with a decent following overseas, but that’s about it. Bob and his entourage did regularly hit on my mother and her friends during their college days on the island in the late 70′s, though. My mom’s best friend was his crush, and he passed through their residences fairly frequently.True story.
    She didn’t like him, though. The Jamaican class system is pretty firm with few exceptions, even with fame in the picture.
    Plain Jane: Well, that, combined with your atheletic build plus your desire for an actual “relationship” should make you a “catch” anywhere on the globe.  Yet I’ve read where you write about not being wanted by the women at your college.
    Do you think its racial?
    Do you limit yourself to any particular race of woman?
    Athlone McGinnis: I don’t want to derail this thread but perhaps this discussion could prove useful to someone reading. Susan says she likes reports from the trenches and I guess personal experiences might count, so I’ll go ahead. I’ve got 15 minutes before class.
    As a disclaimer: This next block of text I’ll be writing will be primarily about me, with the hope that some description of my particular situation will be useful to someone in understanding certain nuances of the modern sexual market place. It’ll probably be lengthy for the sake of clarification (and because I write too much-good for school, bad for blogs), so skip if so inclined.
    Exceedingly long primarily self-centered writing that has relatively little to do with the original post but addresses a recently created tangential comment exchange starts in…
    5…
    4…
    3…
    2…
    1…
    I warned you.
    Now, where do I begin…

    1. I was raised in a very different culture. Lots of ivy leaguers, a rhodes scholar or two, Ivy administrators, etc, plus traditional Jamaican social norms. Most blacks in college today are first generation, maybe second. I am 3rd gen Ivy League alone (were I to attend Harvard law, I’d be the 5th in my extended family to go, 3rd at oxford, etc). I am also the only descendant in my immediate family-I’m an only child and none of my 3 aunts had kids.
    That all sounds like bragadocious douchebaggery, but it has a point: I spent my entire life almost solely around adults, and all of those adults were strong academics. To put it simply, whereas most blacks (regardless of origin) develop some sort of connection with broader African American urban/southern culture by living here, I never did. I was always insulated from it (sheltered, I guess, partially thanks to living in Jamaica for a while), and I come across very differently as a result. My role models were unique, and I mimicked them.
     
     
    The only other blacks I’ve found who are very similar are in my family and, mostly, in Jamaica. This socialization gets me very far academically and will do me well career wise (I tend to come across as a much older person than I am-interviewers and professors like this, and I’m sure diversity-starved corporate America will like it more), but it makes bonding with my peers (regardless of their race) difficult. They respect my intellect well enough (I’m a go-to guy come exam time) but I’m always the weird kid. Weird kids don’t get girls regardless of how they look.
    Because of this, I never really built strong social circles. I’m quiet and relatively to myself. I’ll stay in and study for 6 hours straight instead of going out, even if the test I’m studying for or paper I’m writing isn’t due for another week or two. I’m a nerd in an athlete’s body.
    I make acquaintances, but few best friends or, as my generation would call them, “bros”.
    2. I have no swagger, for reasons mentioned above. Have you heard the term “oreo” before? Multiply it by 10 for me. I’m the biggest one you’ll ever see. I like Japanese/Korean pop and jazz music, I love anime, I enjoy listening to the compositions of Faure and DeBussy, I’ve written a 400 page novel just for fun, and my idea of an enjoyable night consists of eating fried calamari and watching a current events documentary on youtube.
    No swag required for any of that. And God help the young black male in America who lacks swag.
    It is the kiss of death. Girls can’t stand it. It is one thing to be a “corny” white guy. Good luck being the “corny” black guy-that might be one of the worst positions to have in America.
    3. I do not dance. Young black males (especially Jamaican ones) are supposed to dance, but I’m too laid back for it and I come from a long line of men who couldn’t do it either.
    4. Young women today don’t care about character or any of that “substantive” stuff, so my wanting(or having wanted) a relationship is inconsequential. I’d be a catch in most of the English speaking Caribbean(especially Jamaica), Africa, much of Europe(Baltics, Scandinavia, parts of Germany and France especially), Northern Brazil(assuming I spoke Portuguese) and Asia (probably not China, but I’d do well in japan and Korea depending on fluency and also the Phillipines). I might also do decently in Australia and NZ. Here I have no value at all at my current age.
    With the grades and all, I sound like a decent potential husband. But that is not what young girls want. What they want is validation, and as a man you need to provide that. How do you do this?
    a) High social status-if you have a lot of cool friends, you can have this (I obviously don’t).
    b) Be a good athlete (I walked onto my football team. My position was phased out with a new offensive coordinator. I don’t play.)
    c) Be wealthy (In Jamaica, I’m relatively affluent and connected. In the US, I’m lower middle class. My father left before I was born, guaranteeing that.)
    I will make plenty of money, but it won’t be until I’m older.
    All I can offer a girl now as a 19 year old kid is who I am-I’m reliable, I’ll respect you, and I’ll be kind to you.
    That is not enough for a young girl. She wants to be with a guy who her friends will approve of, someone who is “known” and can thus make her feel validated in catching and “taming”. I cannot provide her with that. What she’ll get from me is a reliable provider who will probably make a very lucrative earner someday (nerdiness pays off with age) and who will be what could be called a good husband, but such potential in a young man is useless and invaluable in the eyes of modern society.
    Of course, when these women run into you 10-15 years later and find you with a six figure income and a Jaguar they all suddenly want to ****. Go figure.
    Bottom-line is that I actually have very low value on this dating market. That will change later, but it is what it is in college.
    5. This will make me sound like a douchebag (as if all my talk about the educational pedigree wasn’t bad enough-please don’t take it the wrong way), but I actually am good looking. I used to think otherwise but other opinions have changed my mind. I’ve had everyone from my family to my teammates to random guys on internet forums tell me that I was good looking. I put myself on HotorNot(take it with a grain of salt) and got an 8.9.
    I’ve had girls(white, black and otherwise) say it to me to, and it makes sense given the fact that my father was a ladies man before and after he immigrated here-I inherited nothing but his looks and maybe his brain. Attraction is not my issue-girls can and do approach me from time to time.
    They just don’t stick around. It usually takes them about a week or two, but once they realize what I really am they disappear.
    6. I’m a sophomore at an Ivy League school. Why is it tough to attract girls here?
    a) Bad gender ratio
    b) Isolation
    c) Race has a role, just not the way you think. It isn’t outright racism as it is intimidation. The average white/asian girl here is wary of large, dark skinned black men, especially when they show signs of sexual aggression(as blacks are known to do). In other places, those guys(especially the athletes) can get approached sometimes and swoop girls easily. Here, girls are much more closed off unless you are light skinned(especially with lighter eyes, they go crazy for that) or you can easily portray a non-threatening, friendly attitude that makes them comfortable(read: you have strong GAME). If you’re like me, you are screwed. Get game or don’t bother. They’ll be attracted to you (I’ve had them tell me as much when drunk), but they’ll usually run before they let it turn into something serious.
    They do slip sometimes, but when that happens they are quite prone to issue false rape claims. It has happened to me, and I’m far from alone even on just this campus. The golden rule is to just stay far away from drunk chicks. That one-nighter can cost you your reputation at best, your future at worst.
    7. I have no limitations on race. In practice the past two years, however, I’ve found that I have a much easier time attracting black women. I still don’t keep them for long (no swag=death) but I attract them fairly easily. They give me much clearer signals, even on this campus(they’re even more open elsewhere).
    This all sounds quite depressing, but I’m actually quite optimistic about my future.
    Here is a fun fact: did you know that black men in big law(top 250 firms, the type that pay you $120,000+ right out of school) and at fortune 500 companies(executives, of course) are, combined, less common than blacks in professional sports? There are more blacks in the NFL than there are black partners in big law firms, and more blacks in the NBA, MLS, CFL, NFL, etc combined than there are black male associates or executives at these firms. Kind of sad, isn’t it?
    The good news is that I am very likely to become one of those few (my grades are good, I’m at an Ivy and my practice LSATs are already high enough that I’ll be among the best black scorers in the country, and that’s without serious prep). Once I do this and the women figure it out(even the younger ones have a knack for this), I will have more options than I’ll know what to do with. I can sit back and relax for now-my day will come, and knowing this has killed much of my bitterness and anger at my situation.
    I’ll wait it all out for now. No need for beta rage. I don’t need “swagger” or freak athletic ability to be successful in life. I’m fine the way I am.
    (Selfish tangential rant over)

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Athlone
      This sharing of your situation was anything but selfish. It was brutally honest – no need for false modesty here. It made me happy to read it, because you seem to be in a very positive frame of mind. I think your long-term outlook is justifiably positive as well. The men might have specific feedback re locking down the attraction, but I think it’s clear you are a total catch, and you’re headed into a world where the shortage of black men will provide professional opportunities. Not to mention dating opportunities – with the gender ratio strongly disfavoring black women you should enjoy a position of extreme eligibility. Your biggest challenge may be finding a woman who did not ride that carousel….

  • Plain Jane

    @Athlone, whats the name of your musician relative?  Maybe I’ve heard of him/her.  I used to be up on Jamaican music when I was in Caribbean social circles.
    Well, you are only 19, still a boy really, so no need to worry.  You have plenty of time to find someone to appreciate you.
    You sound like an ideal guy.  Looks combined with brains and emotional sensitivity.  Older women will appreciate that.
    I have heard Black men express that a Black man without swag is at a loss with Black women.
    But there must be some Black geeky women out there who don’t care about that.
    I’ve mentioned elsewhere that I only date foreign, brown and black men now.  Never really was attracted to white guys.
    My ideal would be someone with your looks and qualities. 
    But alas!  I’m too old for you.

    LOL.
    Hang in there. 
    Your Princess Charming will ride in on a horse for you someday.
    PS:
    Please explain this “swag” obsession Americans seem to have.
    If someone is kind and treats you well, who cares how they walk?

  • Plain Jane

    PS: if its not too personal, you mentioned that your 3 aunts have never married or had kids.  Why?  You mentioned before that the women in your family are “feminine” and by extension “attractive” – why is it that upper class feminine women would not have husbands?

  • Athlone McGinnis

    Plain Jane: “whats the name of your musician relative?  Maybe I’ve heard of him/her.  I used to be up on Jamaican music when I was in Caribbean social circles.”
    Athlone McGinnis: That’d be revealing a little too much on the internet. Its best I leave names out of it.

    Plain Jane: “I have heard Black men express that a Black man without swag is at a loss with Black women.
    But there must be some Black geeky women out there who don’t care about that.”
    Athlone McGinnis: If such a large repository of women existed, most of these men would find it. There simply are not many suitors for them, period.
    That notion black men express is not exaggerated. Swag is not a mere condition, it is COMMANDED by 98% of black American woman, and this demand crosses all lines(smart woman, silly woman, college educated, hoodrat, hot, average etc, etc). There is no getting around it until one ages and other factors start to matter. In youth there is nothing more important.
     
     

    Plain Jane: “Your Princess Charming will ride in on a horse for you someday.”
    Athlone McGinnis: I am not counting on that, especially in this country.  She’d probably be dragging herself in to grudgingly make me an offer after a)”Cooler” men are finished with her and/or b)She’s finally been convinced to “settle” for me.
    17-18 year old ultra-beta Athlone might have been more susceptible to her whims, happy just to have a chance at dating/marrying a pretty woman.
    More experienced 19 year old recovering-beta Athlone is far more skeptical of her intentions given his heightened understanding of the American dating world and the nature of its women.
    30 year old recovered higher-beta/lower-alpha Athlone is going to see the likely deceit in that girl from a mile away(alright, MAYBE she hasn’t been on a meat carousel and/or maybe she isn’t just “settling”, but this is America-what are the chances?), have his fun with her, and move on without a care in the world.
    That princess would be better served approaching sooner rather than later, because with each passing year I will become harder to dupe.
     
     
    Plain Jane: “PS:
    Please explain this “swag” obsession Americans seem to have.
    If someone is kind and treats you well, who cares how they walk?”
    Athlone McGinnis: A lot of black women who reject men lacking “swag” often talk about those men being “too soft”, even if they themselves are far from hood. The general consensus is that they want a Thug CEO. This guy is smart and cultured enough to make it in corporate America with the looks/polish to match, but also somehow maintains a “dark side”. He is street-smart and can carry a persona with a lot of dangerous swagger at the same time. If need be, he can interact with white executives in the boardroom just as well as he can with crips/bloods in the inner city, and he could fit in with said gangsters day-to-day to if he wanted to.
     
     
    That is an average black woman’s ideal. It doesn’t exist, of course. Men who put in the effort and possess the intellect needed to make it to that boardroom usually turn out a lot like me. When others were becoming “streetsmart”, they were cleaning out their high school library. You just can’t have both worlds.
     
     
    So, given this stark reality, black women go for whoever is more fun and can provide the most validation and raw sex appeal, not to mention swag. The guys closer to the swaggering street-smart end of the continuum tend to win out as a result. Athletes are also a popular choice(that’s all-conference type athletes, not swag-less Ivy League walk-ons). The fact that these men far outnumber guys on the other end of the continuum in the black american population doesn’t help.
     
     
    Our media and culture just makes it worse by holding men on the street-smart end of the continuum up as the highest status men in the community. Our lawyers, doctors, executives and politicians don’t get nearly as much attention and praise(unless they manage to become president) as our athletes and entertainers. In the 60′s, it was MLK, Medgar Evers and Malcom X. Today its Adrian Peterson, LeBron James and Lil Wayne.
     
     
    This is why swagger is so crucial. Within this community it is considered the most valuable trait a man can have(more than his IQ or character). The most desirable men are the ones with tons of swagger. That means that if you cannot at least emulate said swagger passably, you can really have very little to no status when it comes to dating, especially when you’re young. Swag has been made synonymous with the black male, and its possession derives status. If you don’t have any swagger, you can’t offer her any status, and thus you can never give her the validation she needs. You are of no use to her until she ages, at which point she will grudgingly make more compromises.
     
     
    If you’re young and without even an ounce of it, you might as well not even be black in this society. That’s how low your sexual value is, and your only hope of changing that is to wait.  That, or date outside of your race-a viable option exercised by many of my fellow “swagless” black peers(and myself back in high school). Of course, that isn’t much of an option at my college.
     
    Plain Jane: if its not too personal, you mentioned that your 3 aunts have never married or had kids.  Why?  You mentioned before that the women in your family are “feminine” and by extension “attractive” – why is it that upper class feminine women would not have husbands?
    Athlone McGinnis: I’m not privy to all details, but to sum up what I know: failed marriages. A couple have long term mates now but they’re past the fertility threshold at this point(barring $250,000 for IVF which they don’t have).

  • Athlone McGinnis

    Susan: “Your biggest challenge may be finding a woman who did not ride that carousel….”
    Athlone McGinnis: You’re right about the eligibility thing, which is why I’m not worried.
    As for finding a woman who didn’t ride the carousel, I honestly doubt that I will. I don’t even plan to.
    The good news is that with the experience I’ll have by then I’ll be able to spot the worst ones from a mile away and avoid marrying them. In the very unlikely event that I find a worthy lady in this country I’ll treat her accordingly, but barring that type of miracle I’ll probably end up looking abroad. I’ll start in Jamaica and then expand the search elsewhere.
    Right now I’d put my likelihood of getting married here at around 5%.
     

  • Plain Jane

    “More experienced 19 year old recovering-beta Athlone is far more skeptical of her intentions given his heightened understanding of the American dating world and the nature of its women.
    30 year old recovered higher-beta/lower-alpha Athlone is going to see the likely deceit in that girl from a mile away(alright, MAYBE she hasn’t been on a meat carousel and/or maybe she isn’t just “settling”, but this is America-what are the chances?), have his fun with her, and move on without a care in the world.”

    Athlone, this is not a good attitude nor will it bring you a suitable partner.
    The fact that you are plotting to use women (have fun and move on without a care in the world) when you hit 30 and STILL expect the Universe to send you a good woman who HAS NOT USED MEN (having fun with them and moving on without a care in the world), goes to show that you have no idea how cause and affect works when it comes to relationships.

    You reap what you sow.
    If you want a woman to hold out for you, hold out for that women.
    As far as the users and the carousel riders – don’t give them a thought – either now or at 30s.
    They are not the demographic from which you want to draw.
    But note this: As far as “settling” - EVERYONE settles at least a little bit, afterall, none of us are perfect.

  • Athlone McGinnis

    @Plain Jane: The universe? What makes you assume I have any reliance on the universe to send me a woman? You make it sound like I’m going to be waiting for my perfect dream princess to ride in on some figurative horse with fate as her only guide. I’m not an 8 year old anymore.
     
    “Plotting”? You speak of it like its some sort of grand master scheme, like I have put/plan to put some significant effort in to make it happen that way. It really isn’t anything of the sort. What I described was really nothing particularly noteworthy:a casual sexual relationship(or maybe a more formal STR/LTR) a man maintains with a woman in which he has no intent of ultimately marrying/making a complete commitment to said woman for whatever reason(in this case, carousel riding). It happens all the time.
     
    What, I’m supposed to be apologetic for this? I’m sorry, but I do not plan on limiting my sexual activity to women I am married to/dead set on marrying. That type of profound betatude is what has gotten me in trouble so far. If maintaining a sexual relationship with a woman that I have no intention of marrying qualifies as using, then I’ll be a user. I feel no moral obligation to them in this instance(so long as I don’t completely misrepresent myself as a man seeking marriage with them first and foremost), and don’t see why I should. Perhaps you can clear that up?
     
    As for finding a good woman, I can’t see what makes you think this is going to be hard. Even the world’s biggest so-called “misogynists” and players(Roissy, to use an often cited example) manage to attract “good girls” here in America in spite of their less than chivalrous styles of dating. Alas, that’s in the US, where such women are quite rare. They are abundant in many other cultures outside of this country. In America, finding a girl who hasn’t spent much of her youth using/screwing around with a host of men is challenging. In Jamaica(to use just one of MANY potential examples), it isn’t that hard. Really. You can date a pretty 25 year old and have a reasonable expectation of her never having been gangbanged by an entire sports team just a few years prior. In fact, you can expect her not to have had much more than 2-3 partners.
    And you really want me to believe that I’m gonna have a hard time finding such women? Men with way less going for them than me(60+, fat, balding, no game at all, etc) have secured said women in places like Indonesia, Ukraine, Japan, Brazil, etc. You really think that the 30 year old me can’t do it? The 50 year old me probably could. Like I said, it isn’t that hard(unless you live in America).
    If you honestly believe this is going to be some huge issue for me, I have some beachfront property in Atlanta to sell you.
     

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Athlone
      Glad to see you didn’t tolerate that nonsense from Jane. IMV, your mindset is entirely rational and appropriate. I also think it’s healthy and positive.

  • Plain Jane

    Susan, why did you delete my reply to Athlone?
    There’s nothing wrong in dating or having STRs with people you have no intention of marrying. 
    We all do that.
    However at some point if the other person starts falling in love and thinking there might be a chance at marriage, they deserve to be told the truth.
    If someone intentionally strings someone along that is not fair.
    Only people without a conscience think its ok to do that.
    Its best to state your intentions from the get-go so as to prevent anyone from getting hurt.

  • Jamie

    She normalized escorting (ho-ing herself out) in Breakfast At Tiffany’s!

    True, but even there she pulls it off, being damaged and all. Ha, another movie where the guy doesn’t care about a woman’s past!

    Aaaaaaand another instance of a double-standard for male-female sexuality. People make such a big deal out of Holly Golightly being a hooker that everyone forgets that Fred Baby was also a hooker of sorts, a kept man sleeping with a married lady, no less. So if he counted Holly’s whoring as a strike against her, that would make him the worlds biggest hypocrite douchebag. Ok, obviously a hollywood movie isn’t exactly realism, but a lot of people don’t know that Truman Capote wrote that story and, I think, kept his characters in check.

    I don’t know why I’m arguing a minor point on an old thread. Breakfast at Tiffany’s isn’t even my favorite. The best Hepburn film is Sabrina. Billy Wilder FTW.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Jamie

      Ok, obviously a hollywood movie isn’t exactly realism, but a lot of people don’t know that Truman Capote wrote that story and, I think, kept his characters in check.

      Well he was a gay man so…..had a different perspective.

      The best Hepburn film is Sabrina. Billy Wilder FTW.

      That is a good one, but my fave is Roman Holiday.

  • jamie

    I didn’t know he was gay. Huh. You learn something new every day.

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  • Anna

    Mr. McG:

    “I like Japanese/Korean pop and jazz music, I love anime, I enjoy listening to the compositions of Faure and DeBussy, I’ve written a 400 page novel just for fun, and my idea of an enjoyable night consists of eating fried calamari and watching a current events documentary on youtube.”

    I know this thread is old, but when I saw that comment, this coin-collecting, Tchaikovsky-revering anime fan had to express regret we did not attend the same college (but I was not a pretty coed and you sound like you deserved better). May “swag” be blasted, I hope both you and my brother find great girls overseas.

  • Mistaken

    I made a big mistake in my early twenties.
    At that time I wanted to be a ‘New Man’.
    I married a woman who epitomized the strong feminist ideal – a tough talking, stubborn Sicilian.
    However, 21 years later and still abiding to the letter of our vows I am sure I made a huge mistake.
    Unfeminine behavior was never appealing to me and by now all I do is fantasize about feminine, surprisingly often French women.
    I can’t stand my wife always insisting on driving, always being pushy, always telling me off often in front of friends, dresses like a guy, and only having sex on her terms, and always my having to be the nurturing one.
    In fact I am the ambitious one that drives very hard to be a community and business leader.
    Why doesn’t she take the hint and just be the ‘girl’ every now and again?
    I can’t leave her as I have made a vow and don’t want to harm the kids, but I often wish I could.
    Perhaps masculine behavior is just a turn off to both sexes.
    It certainly is to me.

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  • Laura

    Very old thread, but wow Athlone McGinnis you have (well hopefully HAD) a very disgusting and jaded view of women.