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The Fallacy of Supply and Demand in the Sexual Marketplace

irrational_behavior2Reading the work of Dan Ariely, a Psychology professor at Duke who prefers the sexy job description of Behavioral Economist, I’m often struck by how frequently he explores human behavior in the context of dating and relationships. This approach has become so common among researchers that it has spawned the term Sexual Economics. Personally, I’ve always found economic concepts very applicable to sex and dating.

In his fascinating book Predictably Irrational, Ariely demonstrates the fallacy of Supply and Demand. The traditional view is that the price of something is determined where supply and demand intersect. Using sex as an example, historically in the U.S. the price of sex was marriage, or at least an engagement. (It is believed that up to 50% of the Pilgrims had intercourse before officially marrying.) Social norms dictated this price, and women withheld easy access to sex until they secured commitment. From the male point of view, the price of sex was high, requiring a lifelong pledge of love and fidelity. 

After the Sexual Revolution, those norms rapidly broke down until we arrived at today’s price, usually some variation of sex after date #3 and/or the male’s expression of willingness to be exclusive, at least for now. As the price of sex has plummeted in our society, the price of commitment has risen. In a study by the National Marriage Project at UVA on why men are delaying marriage, the #1 reason given by respondents was:

“I can get sex without marriage more easily than in times past.”

However, the relationship between supply and demand is not entirely independent. According to Ariely, buyers can often be manipulated because they do not have a good understanding of their own preferences and the corresponding prices they are willing to pay. In the world of consumer goods, MSRPs, advertising, and sales promotions all influence the consumer’s willingness to pay. These are supply-side variables.

In the sexual marketplace, women (the sellers of sex) can manipulate prices on an individual basis. They have a range of “sales tactics” they employ, e.g:

  • Delaying sex to drive up the price.
  • Charging a “luxury goods” price if the female is especially attractive.
  • Sweetening the deal via emotional escalation. 
  • Indicating a willingness to forego other opportunities via fidelity. 

On the demand side, Ariely describes something called “arbitrary coherence.” Rather than being primarily motivated by real preference, which is what we should expect, buyers often make their decisions based on memory instead. This is not surprising – we are all conditioned by our past experiences. We have gotten used to doing things a certain way, and have established expectations. We seek coherence with past decisions each time we make a new one. That’s true for relationships as well.

Just as women may influence the sell side, men may influence the buy side by cohering with previous decisions, e.g:

  • Expecting sex in the timeframe he previously experienced it. 
  • Changing the requirements for commitment based on the behavior of a previous partner, i.e. price discrimination.
  • Continuing to pursue short-term flings or ONSs even when they are not enjoyable.
  • Viewing the exchange as devoid of emotional investment.

Obviously, previous experiences may have a profound effect even if they have nothing to do with our true preferences today. The guy who foregoes a great girlfriend prospect and the girl who hooks up to be cool are making choices that are not necessarily an accurate reflection of real pleasure or utility. 

Ariely suggests the importance of becoming aware of our own vulnerabilities. Question your repeated behaviors and decisions. How did you establish this preference? Does it still make sense? How much pleasure are you getting out of it?

We are not very rational beings by nature, but we can make better choices by considering more carefully what it is we really want, and what we are willing to sacrifice in order to get it. 

  • Vae Victus

    Used to be, there was only one market: the market for marriage. Without marriage, most individuals did not have sex. Throwing that Pilgrim ‘statistic’ out there is a red herring, they all died a long time ago and we really don’t know what they actually did.

    There are 2 markets at work today: the marriage market and the sexual market. Much of the confusion today is due to the fact that people seeking marriage are forced into the sexual marketplace to find a partner. The catch-22 is that participation in the sexual market erodes your value in the marriage market. But, if you don’t participate in the sexual market, you may have a hard time finding anyone to marry.

    Economics can be such a bitch…

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

      @Vae Victus

      Throwing that Pilgrim ‘statistic’ out there is a red herring, they all died a long time ago and we really don’t know what they actually did.

      The statistic was derived by examining wedding and birth records. A very large number of babies were born “early.”

      Much of the confusion today is due to the fact that people seeking marriage are forced into the sexual marketplace to find a partner

      Good point.

  • INTJ

    While I agree with this, I think some of the examples you give for supply and demand shifting in the SMP are too rational, and that there are much more “irrational” ways to shift demand/supply. For example, principle of least interest i.e. playing hard to get (sexually for women and commitmentwise for men) will increase one’s perceived value.

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

      @INTJ

      For example, principle of least interest i.e. playing hard to get (sexually for women and commitmentwise for men) will increase one’s perceived value.

      Can you clarify this? Are you saying that PLI is rational or irrational? Does it lead to higher perceived value?

  • Russ in Texas

    Emotional investment, etc: we need to look at opportunity cost and perceived value.

    That we are frequently wrong about our cost estimates does not make us any less rational; it just means we’re not infallible. One could argue that bad romantic relationships are the ULTIMATE example of “sunk costs fallacy” in action.

  • StarCraft

    Marriage is not a “price”. Marriage is more like a good, just like sex. Using marriage as the price for sex is like saying that a college degree is the price for a good job.

    Perhaps a college degree is a prerequisite for a job, but it’s hardly a price as it’s something most people would get anyway. At least, it’s not a price for everyone.

    Here’s a simple test. Suppose you have to pay $5 for an apple, if you can get it without paying the five dollars then your utility would unequivocally improve as you can spend that $5 to buy an orange or something else. Everyone would agree that the $5 is a price. In the case of marriage, a lot of men would not trade marriage and sex for no marriage and sex. A lot of fathers would disagree that marriage is a cost or a price they had to pay for sex.

    I think there’s a subset of men who hates long-term relationships. Yet, there’s another subset who have certainly benefited from marriage.

    Treating all men as a homogenous group of neanderthals looking for quick sex without commitment is a mistake. If you want to get married then find a guy who does want to get married, have a family, and treat you well. It’s much, much easier than using “game” to persuade a player to buy a ring.

    By the way, I wouldn’t want to get married to a girl who shows “a willingness to forego other opportunities via fidelity” as a sales tactic. I’d rather pick a girl who’s repulsed by promiscuity to the point where you can’t even pay her to have sex with anyone other than her partner.

    I don’t know why guys would “continue to pursue short-term flings or ONSs even when they are not enjoyable.” Don’t they have better things to do with their time like hanging out with friends or traveling?

    Maybe I’m not old enough to worry about finding a mate, but I honestly think people should just chill out about dating, their SMVs, and the whole alpha/beta/evolutionary psychology debates. Just be nice, and find a nice person in return. It shouldn’t be that hard. Also, there’s a lot more to life than relationships and sex.

  • StarCraft

    Maybe it’s also the whole issue with American entitlement and #firstworldproblems.

    If you have great friends & family, a job that provides enough money without stressing you out, access to delicious food, and enough time to enjoy some hobbies then you should be very happy.

    If you don’t have some of the above then you can increase your happiness far more by getting those than by finding the right mate.

    I’m in a respectful relationship, but even if I weren’t I’d still be happy with my life.

    I just want to add some perspective because a lot of people here tend to be resentful of not being married to an Alpha or not having a number that’s as high as the frat-jocks.

  • JP

    @Russ:

    “One could argue that bad romantic relationships are the ULTIMATE example of “sunk costs fallacy” in action.”

    Yes, but there is a price to pay for exiting those relationships.

    So, I’m going to argue that it’s normally more like a metastable state.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metastability

  • JP

    “I just want to add some perspective because a lot of people here tend to be resentful of not being married to an Alpha or not having a number that’s as high as the frat-jocks.”

    I don’t think Cooper’s goal is to have a number as high as the frat-jocks.

    However, I could just be projecting here.

  • JP

    Well, I triggered moderation. That’s odd.

  • Abbot

    “I can get sex without marriage more easily than in times past.”

    That cow / milk thing never goes away.

    Sadly, unlike in the past, there are a lot more milk squirters and weeding them out to get to the wife material is a challenge.

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

      That cow / milk thing never goes away.

      Word.

  • Tilikum

    “Sadly, unlike in the past, there are a lot more milk squirters and weeding them out to get to the wife material is a challenge.”

    True dat, but recognizing the club tarts and fakers (98% under 35) is key to finding the unicorn worth the investment. Admittedly, I think I found one and as a very high value guy (super high test and INFJ) she is going to get the nod.

    Why?

    -im 38, she is 27, size 1 and stunning, has demonstrated great parenting and I want at least one more kid.

    -She is a bartender, and as a big (6’1″/240) dude, she knows how to deflect unwanted attention before calling in the bouncer (soon to be me)

    -she is finishing her degree in nursing instead of “fiscal/administrative/masculine who cares” for a future mom. Very attractive.

    but over it all, she is legitimately kind, serious when it counts, demonstrates clear desire, and looks out for my interests as an emotional individual instead of a draft horse.

    A red pill dude with looks/resources/status/ability to emotionally connect just doesn’t say no to all that no matter what he can attract. But absent the red pill and knowing how to filter for quality, I would have just recreated the screeching mess of my first marriage and probably sacrificed another poor child to the Family Court grinder.

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

      @Tilikum

      But absent the red pill and knowing how to filter for quality

      It’s all about the filters in this SMP, for both sexes. Well done, and warm congratulations, it sounds like you definitely found a quality woman.

  • J

    Throwing that Pilgrim ‘statistic’ out there is a red herring, they all died a long time ago and we really don’t know what they actually did.

    I’m guessing that statistic is derived from comparing dates of marriage to the date of birth of a family’s oldest child.

  • http://happycrow.wordpress.com Russ in Texas

    Tilikum,

    Made a very similar decision sans the earlier relationship. I think a lot of “red pill” sorts are bitter b/c they didn’t get coached on how to filter when younger.

    JP,

    Not sure I buy metastability here, but I’m willing to be sold if you wanna pitch it….

  • J

    @SW–I see you got there before I did re the pilgrim stat. Churches kept good records of vital stats.

  • Benton

    “We are not very rational beings by nature, but we can make better choices by considering more carefully what it is we really want, and what we are willing to sacrifice in order to get it. ”

    That statement may be the wisest advice about many issues, especially dating. I am a big Dan Ariely fan (and a Fuqua alum!) and I enjoy applying his theories to the SMP today. But the conclusion is sound advice even without the economics.
    I would make one additional to Susan’s excellent article. If you view men as the supply and women and the consumer, it is easier to understand hooking up culture. Women compete for desirable men, so they “hook up” on the guy’s terms (since that is the only “good” that is available to them). Then those experiences lead the women to pursue more hook ups, “even if they have nothing to do with [their] true preferences today.” (quoting Susan again). Only when women take personal inventory and reassess can they break the cycle.

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

      @Benton

      If you view men as the supply and women and the consumer, it is easier to understand hooking up culture. Women compete for desirable men, so they “hook up” on the guy’s terms (since that is the only “good” that is available to them). Then those experiences lead the women to pursue more hook ups, “even if they have nothing to do with [their] true preferences today.” (quoting Susan again). Only when women take personal inventory and reassess can they break the cycle.

      This is definitely a real dynamic in the SMP for some women. As you suggest, the outcome is often negative – and the woman eventually breaks the cycle or, in the worst case, refers to herself as “damaged goods” as a woman did here recently.

      The women not willing to have casual sex (and yes, there are many), find that they are priced out of the market if they compete for unrestricted or highly sought after men.

  • JP

    @Susan:

    “These two are definitely in the limerance stage.”

    Can’t we call it the new relationship energy stage or something?

    I know this because I’ve gone limerant, and it has nothing to do with being in the early part of a relationship.

    It’s a completely different experience and I know for a fact that I never went limerant for any of my girlfriends (or wife).

    It’s a bizarre experience when you don’t know what it is.

  • JP

    I’m honestly not being INTJ picky, limerance is essentially romantic OCD and has nothing to do with actually being in a relationship with someone.

  • JP

    @Russ:

    I will get you a proper analysis once I have time to think more carefully. I’m still at work because I have too much work.

    I love attorneying.

  • INTJ

    @ Susan

    Can you clarify this? Are you saying that PLI is rational or irrational? Does it lead to higher perceived value?

    Yeah I mean it leads to higher perceived value, which is irrational on the perceiver’s part.

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

      @INTJ

      Yeah I mean it leads to higher perceived value, which is irrational on the perceiver’s part.

      Well, playing hard to get is one of the behavioral correlates – its purpose is deception. So to the extent that the person pretending to have more options than they really do succeeds, the “buyer” has been duped. The Rules is probably the best and most extreme example of this.

      Of course, there are people who do have options and they are harder to get, so the perception of their higher market value is rational.

      However, even here there is the potential for irrational behavior. What is the metric you are using? If you want a serious, loyal boyfriend, then assigning high value to a player is irrational. People need to be able to stand back from cultural norms or expectations to assess whether the choice is rational for them individually. Usually it won’t be.

  • INTJ

    @ Benton

    I would make one additional to Susan’s excellent article. If you view men as the supply and women and the consumer, it is easier to understand hooking up culture. Women compete for desirable men, so they “hook up” on the guy’s terms (since that is the only “good” that is available to them). Then those experiences lead the women to pursue more hook ups, “even if they have nothing to do with [their] true preferences today.” (quoting Susan again). Only when women take personal inventory and reassess can they break the cycle.

    That actually makes so much sense!

  • Iggles

    I just want to add some perspective because a lot of people here tend to be resentful of not being married to an Alpha

    I’ve never heard any of the regulars complain about that here…

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

      I just want to add some perspective because a lot of people here tend to be resentful of not being married to an Alpha

      I’ve never heard any of the regulars complain about that here…

      Hmmm, there are over 160,000 comments on this blog and if memory serves not one suggests that.

  • Situational 10

    “Changing the requirements for commitment based on the behavior of a previous partner, i.e. price discrimination.”

    “Indicating a willingness to forego other opportunities via fidelity. ”

    I’m in a FWB with someone who wants me to forego other oppurtunities while he indulges his. He made it clear that while he is not seeing anyone else at this particular moment, I should nurse no exclusive expectations from him at any time because he’s a “business man” and meets new people all the time and that DADT was his life policy. When I said, “same here” he sat up fast and said that I MUST inform him before I start seeing or having sex with someone else because and I qoute, “there can be multiple breasts but only 1 dick”.

    ?!?!?!

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

      @Situational 10

      I’m in a FWB with someone who wants me to forego other oppurtunities while he indulges his.

      So what are you getting out of it? You can get sex lots of places if that’s what you want. Why have it with an asshole?

  • Iggles

    @ JP:

    It’s a completely different experience and I know for a fact that I never went limerant for any of my girlfriends (or wife).

    I find this surprising since you’ve shared many tales of falling limerent!

    Interesting. As a non-limerent, the only insight I have into it is through my sister. She is limerent and has talked about it in length. No offense, but I much rather prefer not being limerent!

  • JP

    @Iggles:

    “I find this surprising since you’ve shared many tales of falling limerent!”

    Apparently I’m a special snowflake.

    I can’t say that I’ve ever enjoyed being a special snowflake in this respect, since I was both limerant and unable to approach because I was shy.

    I don’t recommend having this combo.

  • Situational 10

    “That cow / milk thing never goes away.”

    It does in this equation;
    ” If you view men as the supply and women and the consumer, it is easier to understand hooking up culture. Women compete for desirable men, so they “hook up” on the guy’s terms (since that is the only “good” that is available to them). Then those experiences lead the women to pursue more hook ups, “even if they have nothing to do with [their] true preferences today.” (quoting Susan again). Only when women take personal inventory and reassess can they break the cycle.”

    Men are the cows now.

  • Richard Aubrey

    Decades ago, when I was young, I knew two–or, depending on the definition of “knew” as opposed to knew of–three women who had it all. If there had been an all-conference homecoming queen, they’d have been it, and very likely National Honor Society, plus common sense and a pleasant, easy-going personality. Not pushovers.
    Each of them was dating and eventually married guys everybody thought were losers. Family tried to tell them [generally has the opposite effect, but the point is the family could tell]; friends.
    Each was divorced within a year of marriage.
    I don’t see that they were competing for desirable men. They could have, had to fight them off. Stuck with Willy Lump-lump.
    Once you get past the, say, junior year in college, the frat-jock had better have a lot more going for him than a Greek pin and a varsity letter. But at least he has these, or one or the other.
    The guys in question had nothing visible. And one of them was cheating from the get-go. As we all look down and say, “He didn’t stay home for THAT?”
    That has two problems for other guys. One is that it’s confusing. If you believe in SMP ratings, this makes no sense. The women had 10 to sell and went for a Walmart discount, afatrouct. (As far as the rest of us could tell.)
    And the other is the perennial, “women say they want….”
    It’s not all women, of course, but it was a substantial portion of the 10s in the area.
    I’m sure we could stipulate without any evidence at all that these women had rare situations that don’t apply to all, or even most of the rest of the 10s. Daddy issues is pretty popular.
    Never mind. It looked like what it looked like and, in addition to being sorry for them, some were confused and some were annoyed ranging to angry.
    Upshot is that saying women, especially top women, compete for desirable men is sufficiently dependent on the unfixed definition of “desirable” as to make the assertion quite hazy. Or at least not useful.

  • JP

    @Situational 10:

    “?!?!?!”

    Since I’m apparently here to answer questions, I will answer yours.

    He’s not offering FWB.

    He’s offering you a place in his harem.

    Congratulations!

  • Joe

    @INTJ

    @ Susan

    Can you clarify this? Are you saying that PLI is rational or irrational? Does it lead to higher perceived value?

    Yeah I mean it leads to higher perceived value, which is irrational on the perceiver’s part.

    I’m making only a minor point, I know, but I think it works this way:
    The PLI causes the more eager of the couple (e.g. the buyer) to perceive a romantic scarcity, precisely analogous to a commodity shortage. It creates a fear that the price is about to go up.

    I think it highlights the difference between cost and value. They are never the same thing.

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

      @Joe

      I think it highlights the difference between cost and value. They are never the same thing.

      Well said! The assumption that they are is a common form of irrational behavior.

  • Situational 10

    Richard Aubrey, were any of those guys good looking? Particularly funny? Good in bed (did you hear through the grapevine?) Maybe they were just especially kindhearted? Also, what made all the others call them losers? Jobless?

  • Abbot

    “Only when women take personal inventory and reassess can they break the cycle”

    and arrive all multi-penised and stunned to see men in their league who aren’t inclined to follow through…

    .

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

      @Abbot

      In light of the recent link J shared, I’m going to ask you to stop using the term “multi-penis.”

  • Abbot

    “Men are the cows now”

    Men are whatever women dictate. Its that “women are the gatekeepers of sex” thing.

    .

  • JP

    “Men are whatever women dictate. Its that “women are the gatekeepers of sex” thing.”

    I didn’t enjoy my time as a cow.

  • Joe

    @JP

    I didn’t enjoy my time as a cow.

    The Stones did “(I’ll Never Be) Your Beast of Burden” a long time ago.
    Could you ever imagine a time when Mick Jagger could sing “Under My Thumb” without repercussions?

  • Abbot

    “Could you ever imagine a time when Mick Jagger could sing “Under My Thumb” without repercussions?”

    It would make far more money today. The feminists would go batshit crazy and drive the sales

    .

  • OffTheCuff

    Star: “or not having a number that’s as high as the frat-jocks.”

    As Ion said about the women, the regular men don’t complain about this either. Who wants n=40? I’d rather it be much lower, just not TOO low.

    Situational 10 is Plain Jane with yet another fake story. Come on kids, you know the pattern by now.

  • Tasmin

    Houston, we have “multipenised” at 33, you are a go….

    @JP
    “He’s not offering FWB.
    He’s offering you a place in his harem.
    Congratulations!”

    +1 Yup.
    All these acronyms are blending together.

    Its not just buy the cow, milk for free, its that too many people have forgotten that milk comes from cows – and its the cow we should want. But far too few are even looking for the cow anymore. All they see is milk. All they want is milk. Milk first. So the SMP has become the dairy section; just isles and isles of milk and all these “choices”, homogenized for uniformity, pasteurized from pesky emotion and communication. Every section seems is the same. The price is low, if one raises the price, there are always cheaper labels. Drink up, then recycle the container in the blue bin; its back on the shelf next friday and its reggae night.

    You want to find the cow, look for cows not milk. Yes, please know what you actually want. You may just find that cow before the vulgar-pop-porn culture has finished turning all the milk into government cheese. USDA – Higher authority approved. Its Healthy! And Natural!

    We’ve got a culture that thinks its great that cheese comes from a can and sex comes from the internet. We kept moving milk further from the farm, what did we expect? Guess we will have to wait for the fembots and then the cows will rise up and attempt to reclaim their rightful place. Until then, “got milk?”

    @Situational 10
    So “businessmen” cows have lowered the price of sex? Or just regular mancows? So women are paying to ride cows? No, what I mean is, you can get a good look at a T-bone by sticking your head up a butcher’s ass… No, wait. It’s gotta be your bull…
    - RIP, C.F.

    I don’t know if I’m the cow or not, but it doesn’t really matter. I’m not going to eat government cheese even if it is delivered to my door for free. I’ll be on the farm where they grow those chickens with enormous tits.

  • Johnycomelately

    “The guy who foregoes a great girlfriend prospect ….are not necessarily an accurate reflection of real pleasure or utility.”

    Rest assured MOST men are not foregoing great girlfriend prospects, they’re holding on to them for dear life.

    What on earth is real pleasure or utility? Sexual utility is subjective.

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

      @Johnnycomelately

      Rest assured MOST men are not foregoing great girlfriend prospects, they’re holding on to them for dear life.

      Agreed.

      What on earth is real pleasure or utility? Sexual utility is subjective.

      Yes, but sometimes we see extremely irrational decisions where real pleasure may even be absent, even in the subjective sense. For example, the guy who had his first makeout session ever in college with a girl who wanted badly to date him. After he ignored her for three days straight on campus she asked him what was up. He said he wanted to explore his options and was not looking for anything serious. This is a kid who would have benefited enormously in every sense from having a girlfriend. Yet the “social proof” he perceived that makeout session as affording him led him to double down and bet on future makeout sessions with a variety of girls. He wanted to try his hand at hooking up.

      It’s like the star of the high school play announcing they will only consider parts in film from now on.

  • http://www.4stargazer.wordpress.com Anacaona

    Situational 10 is Plain Jane with yet another fake story. Come on kids, you know the pattern by now.
    I don’t even bother to point it out, it seems some people want to talk with her for whatever reason…

  • JP

    @Anacaona:

    “Situational 10 is Plain Jane with yet another fake story. Come on kids, you know the pattern by now.
    I don’t even bother to point it out, it seems some people want to talk with her for whatever reason…”

    Because she clearly needs love and attention and a sense of belonging to a tightly knit group of dear friends who adore her.

    Although posting at HUS doesn’t move the ball forward on any of those items.

  • JP

    And saying that name caused me to self-moderate.

  • Ion

    “Situational 10 is Plain Jane with yet another fake story. Come on kids, you know the pattern by now.”

    Let me guess…StarCraft and Situational10 are both PJ? I’m always last to figure out it. :-(

    Iggles:

    “No offense, but I much rather prefer not being limerent!”

    I am limerent, and I agree. lol…

  • Situational 10

    “Only when women take personal inventory and reassess can they break the cycle”

    What makes you think they want to?

  • Richard Aubrey

    Situational 10.
    I was vaguely acquainted with two of the guys. They were not particularly good-looking and in public had the presence of a toilet seat. Not even particularly romantic sullenness.
    I worked with the gf of the third guy who would show me pix of him–he was elsewhere that summer–and tell me about him.
    He was above average good-looking but not great. As to bed, that’s interesting. I talked to her about some alumni stuff twenty years later and she said something about life being interesting when you have a strong sex drive–do not even think of asking me why she brought that up–and that whosits was married and had three kids. From which I gathered she wore him out.
    She had no time for fools. She was polite, but when we left the company of the self-important and the blowhard, she would have us rolling with her flaying remarks about the clown. But when Lump-lump came up, she got all mushy. Showed me a picture of him looking into the woods. Could have been contemplating, could have been looking for a place to pee, could have been wondering where he’d left the canoe. “I love to think of him like this.” Me…. Don’t say a word, Aubrey.
    We were doing some field work, of a worthy sort, and he was taking a trip with some buddies. You may recall when beer cans first had the pop-top. The thing came off. So, within about a week, every public space was ankle-deep in pop tops. That’s why they don’t come off now. I remember a mail call where he had shipped her a box bigger than a brick full of pop tops. She had an unfocused look on her face. I figured, this is a crazy time (1968) and we all dealt with it in our own way and if he and his buddies thought creating mobile beer shortages was a good idea, who was I do say nay. And sending her the pop tops was hip, edgy, irony. That’s it.
    But she was doing good work, hard work, dangerous work and he was drinking beer across the country.
    Anyway, when I was trying to track her down twenty years later for some alumni stuff, I reached her uncle and identified myself, saying among other things that I knew she’d married a guy named…. Freddie. “Freddie. That son of a bitch. Don’t know what she saw in him. He was never the marrying type.”
    When we planned to return from our project, we got out the maps and figured who with cars would deliver those who didn’t have cars. It was a two-day trip. Fell to me to deliver her to her parents, who were nice people. In the hour or so when we got her unpacked and I got a beer and directions to the nearest expressway and home, there seemed no reason for her to be having daddy issues, or any other kind. But you never know. I was the hero, delivering daughter safe and sound, so I wasn’t going to get any details of family dynamics.
    Beyond which, deponent speculateth not.
    The conclusion stands: Saying women compete for desirable men requires the defintion of desirable to be hazy, or overbroad, even to have a half chance of standing up to people’s experiences.
    These were three 10s who gave it away for jacksquatall.
    And there aren’t that many 10s around. To see three of them in my limited venue in about a year and a half doing this is a big fraction.
    Leads to confusion ranging through annoyance to, in extreme cases, I suppose, MGOTW.

  • Situational 10

    “These were three 10s who gave it away for jacksquatall.
    And there aren’t that many 10s around. To see three of them in my limited venue in about a year and a half doing this is a big fraction.
    Leads to confusion ranging through annoyance to, in extreme cases, I suppose, MGOTW.”

    That’s your opinion looking from the outside in. There’s a whole lot of factors that go into why two individuals fall in love with each other. MGTOW think they are owed girlfriends and they think the Universe owes them for whoever they want to want them back. Life doesn’t work that way. We all want who we want, for a combination of reasons, rational and irrational, concrete and subtle.

  • Josie88

    While I disagree with Susan about some things, I do find myself agreeing with Susan on many things.

    I agree with Susan that it would be unwise to marry a cad.

    The more people a person sleeps with, the more likely they may contract a STD or father children out of wedlock. This would take financial resource from a wife and her children if her husband has children with other women.

    It would be unwise for a virgin to marry Tucker Maxx or Desmond Hatchett because she may contract a STD or her kids will be in the poor house.

  • Abbot

    “What makes you think they want to?”

    Many don’t. Thank goodness.

  • Abbot

    “it would be unwise to marry a cad”

    the wretch notwithstanding. Same for sluts. There are just way more of the latter so men are burdened with being more on guard.

    .

  • Josie88

    At the same time, it would be unwise for a man to sleeps with many women.

    While it is true that biology may influence a man to spread his seed, once his seeds does fertilized a woman’s egg, he may loose financial resource for his future wife and children if he cares nothing for neither the mother nor the child.

    Therefor, men and women should sleeps with people that they really care about!!! ;) Men that sleeps around will suffers financial consequence, same can be said of a woman except it is biology.

  • Abbot

    “men and women should sleeps with people that they really care about!”

    Feminists want men to subscribe to this view of women and sex:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bgd3m-x46JU

    .

  • Richard Aubrey

    Situational 10.
    You’re partly right. But the point is, none of these guys looked “desirable” on the outside, so to say women compete for desirable guys leaves us with a defintion of “desirable” needing to be so broad as to be useless.
    Second point is, two of the women were divorced within a year, one within two years. Two of the guys looked like losers to the rest of us, and one, I knew from the family, looked such to the family, and turned out to be losers. The divorces were not a matter of the women being bitches afaict.
    And there was no noticeable competition.
    So, I suppose, you could say the guys were desirable, but saying it doesn’t mean that the rest of us know what is desirable and what isn’t, so it’s not much help. These guys didn’t fit general descriptions of “desirable”.
    Last; MGTOW. I don’t know any, but I’ve read some of their complaints. I differ on their feeling owed sex. I think they feel they’re owed an honest, consistent message.
    The bitter blue-pill guys didn’t figure out bluepilling themselves. They were told it from 360 degrees 24/7. Turns out it’s not only not true, many of those telling them know it’s not true but preached it anyway. ‘nuf to piss off anybody.

  • Maggie

    Tasmin @ 39

    Your writing is a joy to read.

  • someINTP

    I read Dan Ariely’s book, Predictably Irrational, and watched his TED presentation. I love his approach. Smart, well meaning people are often stupid about stupid people. Their models of behavior hold up well for machines, but not people. His chapter on distrust seems to explain many of our modern social and economic dysfunctions.

    There was this exchange between an economic presenter at a TED conference and an audience member who studied psychology. The presenter reinforced the idea of the lottery being an idiot tax and that people are fundamentally irrational. The audience member volunteered to comment by saying that the presenter was mistaken to assume that people played the lottery explicitly to win. Rather they found the activity psychologically rewarding in itself (anticipation, release, etc.).

    So then I thought of marriage as this kind of lottery. There is a low probability of success. It can also be thought of by divorce lawyers as their idiot tax. But unlike a lottery you can lose a lot more than what you started out with, lost time being the biggest. However, the anticipation of finding love and strategies we develop may be rewarding in itself, even if the end result is disappointing.

    I am reminded by something Alan Watts said. Life isn’t a crashing chord. You rush to the finale and that is it. Life is a musical thing and you are suppose to dance.

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

      @someINTP

      So then I thought of marriage as this kind of lottery. There is a low probability of success.

      Why do you say this? It seems to me that by filtering and selecting carefully, one may experience a very high probability of success.

  • Abbot

    Feminists lamenting chivalry want to manipulate the demand side with pick-up scripts for non-harem qualified (as deemed by feminists) men

    http://jezebel.com/5981581/how-to-talk-to-a-woman-without-being-a-creep

    .

  • Abbot

    “You can get sex lots of places if that’s what you want.”

    Just say yes, and poof, instapenis

  • someINTP

    @Susan Walsh

    I don’t see myself as an exception, and as Ariely writes, people overestimate their own rational abilities. So I must view myself as a statistic to have any realistic expectations. I didn’t mean to say that I won’t play this lottery, but that I should have better reasons for playing than the simple outcome.

  • Tom

    I really dont understand the concept that men get married to have a constant supply of sex…..I sure didnt and my friends sure didnt. I got married to have the companionship of the woman I lovedand to make it legal..(and will soon again) The sex was a given because we had premarital sex, and both loved what we had sexually, and I was sure that would continue after making the relationship legal.
    If it was only sex I wanted, hell I had that from her (or others if she were not in the picture.)
    Why buy the cow when the milk is free, indeed. Sex was probably 4th on the list of why I got married. I think most people have their priorities of why they get married and what marriage is about mixed up.
    I swear, by the comments made here by several of the guys, they think sex is job 1 when it comes to marriage. ..Sex is only important if the couple thinks it is, and sex only becomes a problem when one of the people isnt getting ebough or one of the people thinks there is too much. It only takes one who is not satified for sex to be problematic in a relationship.

    The price of marriage isnt sex.. My mother told me it wasnt called the roaring 20`s for nothing. Affairs and premartial sex were WAY under reported back then.You can buy that Black and Decker saw at the local hardware store and pay $30.00 for it or go to Walmart and get the same saw for $20.00. What one is willing to pay for the same quality is each persons choice.

  • OffTheCuff

    Tom: “I really dont understand the concept that men get married to have a constant supply of sex”

    Apparently you were lucky enough not to be raised Christian.

  • mr. wavevector

    Charging a “luxury goods” price if the female is especially attractive.

    A commitment-minded man will pay a premium price based on a lot more than looks. According to this recent post , good looks only ranks #8 on the list of male preferences, while dependable character, emotional stability, and pleasing disposition rank #2, #3, and #5. Unlike good looks, these character traits are something one can significantly improve upon if one makes an effort.

    The thing that sold me on mrs. wavevector was her sanity. While she views that as faint praise, it’s not at all – it’s a rare and valuable asset. She wasn’t necessarily the hottest woman I ever dated, but she was by far the most stable, dependable, and pleasant. I’ve never made a better decision.

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

      @mr. wavevector

      A commitment-minded man will pay a premium price based on a lot more than looks.

      I think we hear too little of that around here. It’s always looks, looks, looks. To the extent your view is typical, then yes, I think women can and should hold out based on the value of their character traits. That would be the difference between SMV and MMV – an important distinction.

  • JP

    @OTC:

    “Tom: “I really dont understand the concept that men get married to have a constant supply of sex”

    Apparently you were lucky enough not to be raised Christian.”

    It’s more that you get married to have sex, isn’t it?

  • Ted D

    Tom – “I really dont understand the concept that men get married to have a constant supply of sex…..I sure didnt and my friends sure didnt.”

    Well for my part, marriage isn’t about getting constant sex as much as locking it in so that ONLY you are getting the sex from her. See OTC’s comment about being raised Christian. I certainly had sex before marriage, but in each case I fully intended to marry the women I was with at the time, and in two cases it just didn’t work out.

    “I swear, by the comments made here by several of the guys, they think sex is job 1 when it comes to marriage. ..Sex is only important if the couple thinks it is”

    Oh well OK then. TO ME, sex is VERY important in marriage. I wouldn’t say it is #1, but probably #2 or #3 depending on the current situation. I can get much of the social interaction I get from my wife through friends and family: Companionship, support, nurturing, sense of belonging, etc. Now I will fully admit that I prefer to get most of that from my wife, but the point is I could get by without her contributions there. But, I don’t have sex with my friends, and I don’t morally and ethically practice casual sex, so the ONLY way for me to “get sex” is to be in a relationship, and for me that implies marriage at some point.

    “and sex only becomes a problem when one of the people isnt getting ebough or one of the people thinks there is too much. “

    Well sure. Having been in a sexless marriage I can tell you it becomes a HUGE issue rather quickly. I simply didn’t know how to fix it at the time. But to your point, don’t you think this is something that can indeed drive a marriage into dust? I’d say that puts sex pretty close to the top in terms of importance in marriage. I can tell you that for me lack of sex leads to lack of connection, and that eventually leads to falling out of love. Sex really is one of the primary ways I connect with my wife on a level unlike anyone else in my life. In fact, other than the piece of paper from the government I’d say the fact that we have sex MAKES her my wife more than anything else we share. And yes, before you ask, that means I considered her “my wife” well before we actually got that piece of paper.

  • Sai

    @Richard Aubrey

    What a waste.
    I think there’s at least one case like this in every school/neighborhood.

    @Ion
    “Let me guess…StarCraft and Situational10 are both PJ? I’m always last to figure out it.”

    It’s not just you. *derp*

    Saw a commercial for this last night. What do you lot think of it?
    http://www.whatsyourprice.com/

  • INTJ

    Also, interesting study. The male responses definitely reflect my views towards egalitarian vs. captain/first-officer relationships.

  • INTJ
  • Jason773

    INTJ,

    From the article you linked…

    With this in mind, Gerson asked her respondents what type of family they would like if, for whatever reason, they couldn’t sustain an equal partnership. She discovered that, while men’s and women’s ideals are very similar, their fallback positions deviate dramatically.

    Men’s most common fallback position is to establish a neotraditional division of labor: 70% hope to convince their wives to de-prioritize their careers and focus on homemaking and raising children. Women? Faced with a husband who wants them to be a housewife or work part-time, almost three-quarters of women say they would choose divorce and raise their kids alone.

    This is just absurd and stunning, even if not reality. This just goes to show you the kind of insane brainwashed women that are out there when guys looking for a wife. A guy would want to provide for his wife and family, and women would rather divorce.

    In reality, while women say this, we know this is actually true, and once the babies start to come a lot of women start changing their minds quickly. But the fact that 75% of women even think like this in the first place is extremely alarming and shows approximately 0% loyalty. Read that again, 3 out of 4 women think that they would rather divorce you and take the kids, only because you want to provide for them. It’s crazy out there.

    The only thing I want to know is the demographic of women polled, but it does say “all ages, races and family backgrounds.”. I wonder if there is some data in there to help the guys filter for the other 25%.

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

      @Jason

      A guy would want to provide for his wife and family, and women would rather divorce.

      The link INTJ provided is a story about a study, apparently included in a 2010 book, but I don’t have the study. Lisa Wade is a radfem, and while I appreciate her condemnation of hookup culture and have cited her own research numerous times, much of her work is pretty far out there and pro-feminism. The statistic that 75% of women would rather divorce than be at home full-time is surprising to me. I recently wrote about the annual Forbes survey of 1,000 women, 2/3 of whom work outside the home:

      “At a moment in history when the American conversation seems to be obsessed with bringing attention to women in the workplace (check out “The End of Men,” or Google “gender paygap” for a primer), it seems a remarkable chasm between what we’d like to see (more women in the corporate ranks) and what we’d like for ourselves (getting out of Dodge). But it’s true: according to our survey, 84% of working women told ForbesWoman and TheBump that staying home to raise children is a financial luxury they aspire to.”

      Kay Hymowitz weighs in:

      “But “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All,” a recent, widely discussed Atlantic cover story, should help redirect the conversation to the obvious: it’s the kids.

      …Women are less inclined than men to think that power and status are worth the sacrifice of a close relationship with their children…Nothing in the array of work/family policy prescriptions—family leave, child care, antidiscrimination lawsuits, flextime, and getting men to cut their work hours—will lead women to infiltrate the occupational 1 percent. They simply don’t want to.”

      So at first glance Gerson’s book as profiled by Wade seems in direct opposition to more comprehensive and recent surveys.

      In reality, while women say this, we know this is actually true, and once the babies start to come a lot of women start changing their minds quickly.

      Susan Walsh in 1981: I do not intend to marry and have no desire for children. I plan a stellar career in International Finance.

      Susan Walsh in 1982: I am so in love and can’t wait to have Mr. HUS’s children. I plan to go to NY with him and would not consider an international position at this time.

      Susan Walsh in 1987: I adore my child and am deeply resentful of the three days per week I have to leave him and go to work.

  • Jason773

    I meant to say “we know this isn’t actually true” in my last post.

    Susan,

    Can you please respond to the article that INTJ linked, and specifically what I quoted. I’ve tried to explain the mindset of a vast majority of women out there in the SMP, and I think this helps to back me up. You have remained skeptical, trying to state that I mostly associate with bar-fly unrestricted types (to which I claim to associated with a much broader base of women) and that I am recieving confirmation bias, but this data seems to confirm what I have been saying about the greater demographic of my generation.

  • Joe

    @Jason

    This just goes to show you the kind of insane brainwashed women that are out there when guys looking for a wife

    Yeah. There’s a disconnect.

    I hesitate to link to The Good (beta) Man Project… (Oops. My allergic reaction to their knee-jerk more-liberal-than-thou attitude is showing) but I found this one interesting.
    http://goodmenproject.com/sex-relationships/how-feminism-screwed-up-my-love-life/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=how-feminism-screwed-up-my-love-life

    A snippet:

    I got the impression that I could, should, and would run circles around guys. I’d be smarter, stronger, and savvier. And I was sure as shit not going to let any of them hurt me. Probably a good idea not to let any even get near me.

  • JP

    @Jason:

    Is this before or after they actually *have* the children?

  • mr. wavevector

    > To the extent your view is typical, then yes, I think women can and should hold out based on the value of their character traits. That would be the difference between SMV and MMV – an important distinction.

    Good point. My view is more typical of men in the MMP than those in the SMP in general.

    Anyway, the law of supply and demand is truly valid only for commodities, like pork bellies and oil. But mates are not commodities! You can beat the market and command a higher price if you differentiate and demonstrate a higher value.

    And that’s the point of this blog, is it not?

  • Jason773

    JP,

    I’m sure the respondents here are in the “before” category, but that’s not my point. Most people here would agree that most of these women would happily change their minds once the babies come, if they had a man who made enough to provide and still brought the tingles. My point is that women even thinking like this on this topic has an associative effect with many other characteristics women have. This is why quality women, imo, are few and far between.

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

      FTR, we raise daughters today to achieve. Academically then professionally. A smart girl who says she wants to stay home and have babies is a source of shame to her family and her community. I do not exaggerate. There is great cultural pressure on young women to be ambitious. When I encourage young women here to begin dating for marriage after college graduation, I am bucking a very entrenched cultural norm. Most of the young women I have discussed this with are very taken aback by the idea until I explain my reasoning. They have zero knowledge about fertility and have been told their entire lives that self-reliance is essential.

  • Abbot

    “3 out of 4 women think that they would rather divorce you and take the kids, only because you want to provide for them.”

    That is the feminist brainwashing. Its and image/ego matter.

    That study also states that men initially state they are good with the feminist model and then strongly fallback to the traditional. That is, they are playing lip service because they feel boxed in and don’t want to come across as being a knuckle dragger.

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

      That study also states that men initially state they are good with the feminist model and then strongly fallback to the traditional. That is, they are playing lip service because they feel boxed in and don’t want to come across as being a knuckle dragger.

      Exactly.

  • J

    In light of the recent link J shared, I’m going to ask you to stop using the term “multi-penis.”

    Aw c’mon, I was looking forward to posting more links. If I do it appropos of nothing, I’ll look like more of a dirty old lady than I am.

  • J

    Just say yes, and poof, instapenis

    First, Polaroid pictures, then no-bake cheesecake, now instapenis. What’ll they think up next?

    http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/instapenis

    I love the pic with the can, though I prefer mine fresh.

  • JP

    @Jason:

    “My point is that women even thinking like this on this topic has an associative effect with many other characteristics women have.”

    My point is that the *reality* of the baby will take precedence over any prior delusions.

    Lots of people have ideas that are out of touch with reality until they actually encounter reality.

    My entire academic and employment career is evidence of this exact principle in action.

  • J

    Wave–Glad to see you! Although we don’t always agree, I find you and interesting and intelligent commenter.

  • Ion

    Sai “Saw a commercial for this last night. What do you lot think of it?
    http://www.whatsyourprice.com/

    lol.

    I might as well sell my ovaries through craigslist if I have to compete with the women on that list. Are they real?
    They look like those super attractive/photoshop’d robots who used to pop up on myspace like 6 years ago.

    Plus I’m not really looking for someone “generous”. Just intelligent with a strong work ethic.

  • Ion

    “http://thesocietypages.org/socimages/2013/01/28/mens-and-womens-gender-ideologies-ideals-and-fallbacks/”

    Bwahaha, I used to read the SocImages section back when they were context.org/sociological images. Lisa is a brilliant woman, and so are the newer posters but they lost me when they started the hypocritical feminist whining. It sucked because they were my favorite blog before that point. All of them are still really brilliant when they aren’t writing about “gender” and family court issues, imho.

  • Abbot
  • JQ

    @Susan in re, well, some things in general related to the post:

    I think that the SMP/MMP dichotomy is overly simplistic and is in fact distorting the discussion. I think it makes more sense to think about options contracts on ETFs (or any basket of goods, services, or obligations) as a better analogy.

    I walk around every day (relationship-wise) with a basket of (implicit) relationship contracts in my pocket. Some are for platonic relationships, some are workplace-only, some are for casual sex, one says marriage, etc. They have various interdependencies based on the conditions in the implicit contract. Depending on who I interact with, I signal my interest in signing one of these implicit contracts, be it a new one, an extension on an old one, or perhaps something else. So rather than thinking about going out into the SMP, the SMP is really just a subset of the ongoing set of contract negotiations I partake in at any given time. The situation is symmetric. Therefore contracts get signed when a mutually agreeable contract is found.

    The tie-in to the OP is that much of the dynamic described may be easier to explain as mechanisms which are part of not just negotiating sex or marriage, but also signaling what contracts are in play and with what additional stipulations. “No sex until marriage” is a stipulation. “Sex by the third date is required for continued dating” is another. Emotional escalation may fit into both paradigms. Yes, it is easier to talk about a casual sex contract and a marriage contract as the only two things in play, but it’s simply not true.

    This is actually much closer to the microeconomic founding myth of two people, each with a different good, meeting and agreeing to an exchange which is mutually beneficial. I’m really not completely convinced that in the absence of a single common medium of exchange the price model is incredibly useful except as an abstract construct. The problem is attribution. If I enter a contract with a woman in which I exchange certain “boyfriend” services for sex (when I’m not sick) and home-made matzo-ball soup (when I am) then how much of that is monogamy? How much of that is moving furniture once in a while? How much of that is foregoing a judo tournament to go to her sister’s wedding in a good suit?

  • http://asinusspinasmasticans.wordpress.com Mule Chewing Briars
  • Jason773

    JP,

    You’re still missing it. I agree with you about the reality of the baby, as I have already stated. I’m saying that the entire mindset that leads one to even think that way is pervasive (and damning) and is connected with many other traits that women have in today’s culture.

    These women do not go “me and my career first, damn the husband and family unit” only based on this one topic and then do a 180 degree spin and become loving symbols of femininity where everything else is concerned. If you somehow think this issue is compartmentalized then I don’t know what to tell you.

  • JP

    @JQ:

    “I walk around every day (relationship-wise) with a basket of (implicit) relationship contracts in my pocket. Some are for platonic relationships, some are workplace-only, some are for casual sex, one says marriage, etc. They have various interdependencies based on the conditions in the implicit contract.”

    Yeah, as an attorney/chemical engineer, being well versed in both contract law and physical chemistry, I’m going to have to argue that relationships are less like contracts and more like chemical bonds, where what you refer to as a “contracts” are more like a distinct set of psychological bonds between people. (which I will eventually tie into the entire “meh relationship = metastability” concept)

    Even the relationship between the parties in a *marriage* isn’t truly a contract as it is a certain kind of psychological bond between people.

    You can have distinct sets of bonds with different marriages with the same contractual stipulation.

    However, your are correct to point out that there are a far greater number of types of relationships than set forth in the SMP/MMP dichotomy.

  • JP

    your = you

  • http://www.4stargazer.wordpress.com Anacaona

    In reality, while women say this, we know this is actually true, and once the babies start to come a lot of women start changing their minds quickly. But the fact that 75% of women even think like this in the first place is extremely alarming and shows approximately 0% loyalty. Read that again, 3 out of 4 women think that they would rather divorce you and take the kids, only because you want to provide for them. It’s crazy out there.

    I’m pretty sure they are imagining an scenario like “the oppressed women from the past” than thinking about the possibility rationally. From their POV is not a generous offer but an attempt to control them.

    http://www.whatsyourprice.com/

    And humanity just reached a new low. Oh well maybe if everyone is honest about what they want the really good ones will find each other easier and leave the crazy ones mate with each other. *lesigh*

  • Jonny

    The sell and buy side is of sex/hook-ups, not marriage or long term relationships.

    For women, delaying sex does not change the static requirement of no prior sex for men seeking LTR or marriage. For men, his expectation of sex only reveals his intent of not marrying.

    I only reference the sex portion as that is the most important to discuss.

    People who are most likely to marry escalate rather quickly towards marriage without a lot of drama of trying people out in the SMP. They are essentially settling with a well-established predetermined standard.

    It seems like many men and women don’t know what they want. They create artificial lists of demands that are not realistic and they fail to see that many people already fulfill their requirements in the crowds that they inhabit. The longer they wait, it is likely these people will drop out of the market for various reasons including getting taken by rivals.

  • JP

    @Jason:

    “These women do not go “me and my career first, damn the husband and family unit” only based on this one topic and then do a 180 degree spin and become loving symbols of femininity where everything else is concerned. If you somehow think this issue is compartmentalized then I don’t know what to tell you.”

    I’m not saying that they become loving symbols of femininity.

    I’m saying that once the reality of baby arrives, the baby itself will cause the mother to be much more likely to want to be a SAHM mother with baby. I suspect that it also makes her much less likely to divorce the baby’s father, regardless of previously stated preferences.

    In a sense, babies *create their parents*, thanks to developmental neurology and developmental psychology.

    With respect to the man, baby *reduces his testosterone*, thereby creating a more “dad-like” man.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/13/health/research/13testosterone.html?_r=0

    I’m not saying this is true in all cases, however, I don’t think you understand that *baby* causes changes in both men and women.

  • Jason773

    Anacaona,

    I’m pretty sure they are imagining an scenario like “the oppressed women from the past” than thinking about the possibility rationally. From their POV is not a generous offer but an attempt to control them.

    I don’t know if you are trying to make excuses for this abhorrent attitude or what, but this just proves my point even more that this 75% is hardly worth dating, let alone marrying, if you are a guy with even a modicum of success/looks/status and options. I would love to see the data in order to filter for the 25%.

  • INTJ

    @ Susan

    I think we hear too little of that around here. It’s always looks, looks, looks. To the extent your view is typical, then yes, I think women can and should hold out based on the value of their character traits. That would be the difference between SMV and MMV – an important distinction.

    I think it depends where the looks are. Again, it’s the “boner test” that matters. The difference between a 3 and a 6 is a massive change in value (even for MMV), whereas the difference between a 7 and a 10 isn’t much of a big deal.

  • Jason773

    JP,

    Who cares? Why would a successful man with options want to marry and have kids with someone from this 75% in the first place?

  • Rollo Tomassi

    The guy who foregoes a great girlfriend prospect and the girl who hooks up to be cool are making choices that are not necessarily an accurate reflection of real pleasure or utility.

    The problem with this metric, and really your own take of Ariely’s perspective, is that you assume a static value of the commodity (sex) and ignore that it’s really a depreciating asset. Unless a ‘buyer’ is resorting to a more formalized purchase (i.e. prostitution), the buyer isn’t buying anything, but rather financing a depreciating asset for a long term.

    You can use the point of the sexual revolution as an easy benchmark for the ‘devaluation’ of sex, but remember since then a lot of advancement has been made in aiding buyers in making more ‘realistic’ investments. In fact just the realization that a man is financing sex is a step further than most of the pilgrims ever had.

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

      @Rollo

      Unless a ‘buyer’ is resorting to a more formalized purchase (i.e. prostitution), the buyer isn’t buying anything, but rather financing a depreciating asset for a long term.

      Aaaaannnnd that’s why you come off as someone incapable of relationship.

  • JQ

    @JP in re 92:

    I went to what I know (as someone with an economics degree but no formal training in law or physical chemistry of note). In any event, all models are wrong and some models are useful. Thank you for the feedback.

    I agree that the word marriage is a tag given to any member of an equivalence set of relationships. Likewise, when two people say they are dating, this isn’t very informative beyond pointing to another equivalence class of relationships. If we are willing to grant people have agency then there is still the need to actively negotiate (again, perhaps not in a way that would be recognizable in a court of law as negotiation) which member of the equivalence set is going to actually be experienced.

    There is frequent discussion here about the tendency toward failure of relationships where there is not good agreement about in which particular kind of dating or marriage both members are involved. Ergo, it makes sense to go through some sort of process for both advertising with what one is comfortable and vetting the the advertisements of others. So are the behaviors in question really irrational or a learned adaptation to mixed signals, incomplete information, possible deceptions, et al in light of one’s personal preferences and tolerance for risk?

  • http://en.gravatar.com/marellus Marellus

    Wuzan,

    Wilk a deshwisher … ha fuck … bleddie brendy agian … rossy … sorry … fcuck … I tryeee againm … dammit … ha Y can steel spill … yippeeeee … nauw wull a dishwasher … ha, one vord wight ! …. will a dishwasher get broken if I wash ma crocs in it ? … tehy’re plestick … IneeedaBerr … beer … shoit !! bye

  • JP

    @JQ:

    ” Likewise, when two people say they are dating, this isn’t very informative beyond pointing to another equivalence class of relationships. If we are willing to grant people have agency then there is still the need to actively negotiate (again, perhaps not in a way that would be recognizable in a court of law as negotiation) which member of the equivalence set is going to actually be experienced.”

    I think that people in relationships, of any kind, form certain psychological bonds (both positive and negative).

    The problem is that we are trying to apply economics to psychological bonds, meaning that we are assigning concepts in the marketplace to interpersonal psychology.

    There is agency, but you don’t have the ability to form a bond, or really negotiate a situation, that is outside of the possible bonds that you can form. You *don’t* get to decide which bonds exist. And if you pick a bond that doesn’t actually exist, you will get a bond that does exist, regardless of what you negotiated.

    For example, you have the FWB situation, where you have “negotiated” a FWB situation. However, due to the fact that you are having sex with each other, one party can “fall in love” with the other person.

    This isn’t a failure of negotiation; it’s a failure to recognize the reality of a fixed set of psychological bonds within human nature and the nature of such bonds.

    When you “negotiate” a FWB situation, you are often *automatically* setting up a situation when what you get is distinct from what either party actually negotiated regardless of actual intent or risk analysis because you can’t necessarily achieve what you think you can achieve when you are negotiating.

    This is equally true in most forms of dating, marriage, and affairs, as well as polyamory.

    I believe that the types of bonds possible between people also differs from culture to culture, such that, for example the types of possible bonds between Feudal Japan are distinct from the types of possible bonds in Post-Modern America.

  • SayWhaat

    I’m pretty sure they are imagining an scenario like “the oppressed women from the past” than thinking about the possibility rationally. From their POV is not a generous offer but an attempt to control them.

    This. A guy who insists she become a SAHM before kids are even in the picture sets off alarm bells. Like Anacaona and JP said, it’s the instinctual response for self-protection in a hypothetical situation than one constructed from reality.

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

      A guy who insists she become a SAHM before kids are even in the picture sets off alarm bells.

      One of Dalrock’s regulars derided a female commenter, saying, “She only gave her husband two children, and not even home schooled!”

      The fact that there are men out there who think this way is enough to get women feeling extremely defensive (and independent).

  • Ted D

    SayWhaat – “This. A guy who insists she become a SAHM before kids are even in the picture sets off alarm bells.”

    But why? Seems to me that guy at least has a plan in mind, and has the drive and ambition to go out and earn enough to support a family without the help of a second income.

    So how exactly is that an “alarm bell” situation? Unless of course the woman’s life goal is to make it into a corner office, in which case it isn’t an alarm bell, it is a clear sign that the guy in front of her is NOT the one she should marry.

    I don’t understand why a guy that wants to be that traditional bread winner is immediately DQ’ed simply because he would rather his wife take care of his kids than some random person working in a daycare.

  • http://www.4stargazer.wordpress.com Anacaona

    I don’t know if you are trying to make excuses for this abhorrent attitude or what, but this just proves my point even more that this 75% is hardly worth dating, let alone marrying, if you are a guy with even a modicum of success/looks/status and options. I would love to see the data in order to filter for the 25%.

    Just explaining the though process, nothing more, nothing less.

  • INTJ

    @ JP

    There is frequent discussion here about the tendency toward failure of relationships where there is not good agreement about in which particular kind of dating or marriage both members are involved. Ergo, it makes sense to go through some sort of process for both advertising with what one is comfortable and vetting the the advertisements of others. So are the behaviors in question really irrational or a learned adaptation to mixed signals, incomplete information, possible deceptions, et al in light of one’s personal preferences and tolerance for risk?

    In other words, too bad the old courting model is gone. Now, nobody knows what the fuck the other person wants.

  • INTJ

    Whoops misquoted JQ as JP…

  • Ion

    Jason “Who cares? Why would a successful man with options want to marry and have kids with someone from this 75% in the first place?”

    I’m not really sure, but I think the question may be better rephrased: “Why would a man with an abundance of options want to marry when he benefits from the belief that casual sex is more rewarding?” A man with options can convince himself of whatever he sees fit to justify his current benefit in the market. His credibility is even worse than feminists, though the victimized thinking, lack of personal accountability, selective memory, etc., are about the same.

  • mr. wavevector

    Hi J! Thanks. I’ve enjoyed our previous discussions, because you too are intelligent and interesting.

    SayWhaat: A guy who insists she become a SAHM before kids are even in the picture sets off alarm bells.

    TedD: So how exactly is that an “alarm bell” situation?

    Given the daunting task of raising a human child, women have a strong instinct to choose a useful man for a LTR. In very broad terms, “useful” implies both strength and kindness: strength, to be able to do what she needs to have done; kindness, to actually do those things for her.

    What a woman needs, however, is determined by the social context. Our culture tells women that a career is a necessity.

    Therefore a man who insists his future wife be a SAHM sets off the red flags because he appears to be inattentive to a woman’s needs. His deficiency is not in his strength, which may be perfectly adequate, but in his kindness.

  • Richard Aubrey

    Mr. wavevector,

    If I get you, telling a prospective wife she is to be a SAHM will run her off. You could keep your mouth shut about that, and wait until the baby arrives and makes the argument more forcefully.
    But there’s the possibilty that the baby won’t be persuasive.
    Then what?
    How about do your own thing until the kid comes along and then I’ll take care of things. No? Bye.

  • Madelena

    @Ted
    But why? Seems to me that guy at least has a plan in mind, and has the drive and ambition to go out and earn enough to support a family without the help of a second income.

    My response:
    It depends if it is a situation decided by BOTH husband and wife, or something that the husband dictates. To many, it’s indicative of a retrograde mentality that focuses on a man maintaining power in a relationship. I am not saying that is the case but it would be viewed that way.

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

      It depends if it is a situation decided by BOTH husband and wife, or something that the husband dictates. To many, it’s indicative of a retrograde mentality that focuses on a man maintaining power in a relationship.

      Prior to the Women’s Movement, the default male position was “No wife of mine will ever work!”

  • JQ

    @ JP in 103:

    If I read you right, then each person has a set of possible relationships structures which define all the kinds of relationships in which one may be. Maybe they can do FWB (for example) or they can’t. Further, if one trues to have a relationship for which one is not wired(?), then they’ll end up in one of the structures for which they are wired.

    My questions are:
    1) Can one really know which relationships one is capable of having in any sort of really definitive way?
    2) Is it possible for the set to change with time?
    3) Is there any ability to choose?

    I tend to think the answer to Q1 is “not when it counts”, to Q2 is “yes”, and to Q3 is “somewhat”. So I tend to see the issue of your FWB example as a case of the sort of risk inherent in any relationship, even when both parties enter into the relationship in good faith and make an honest effort to keep it going.

    @ INTJ in re 107/108:

    An understandable mistake.

    I think traditional courtship was if anything convenient insofar as it provided a standardized set of signals and mechanisms to figure out who is interested in whom and for what. Then again, I recall once reading that Victorian England felt it necessary to pass a law against men promising marriage in order to obtain premarital sex and then not following through on getting married. I don’t have a citation, so take it as you will. If true, then it suggests it was no easier to figure out someone’s intentions then than it is today.

    From my own reading and experience, the past we recall fondly as a better time rarely deserves the honor.

  • JP

    @JQ:

    I think that it’s more that there are a certain finite set of relationship structures that are generally possible within a particular culture that depends on human psychology/biology.

    However, with respect to relationships, you don’t necessarily know the subjective experience of being in a certain type of relationship until you are in that specific type of relationship.

    So, you can’t necessarily calculate the risk.

    Which means that you don’t necessarily *understand* the choice you are making with respect to the actual level of risk.

  • Jonny

    “Therefore a man who insists his future wife be a SAHM sets off the red flags because he appears to be inattentive to a woman’s needs. His deficiency is not in his strength, which may be perfectly adequate, but in his kindness.”

    I would prefer the man makes the child the priority. Women should take a back seat to that.

    What a disappointment that women should be so selfish.

  • Jonny

    “It depends if it is a situation decided by BOTH husband and wife, or something that the husband dictates. To many, it’s indicative of a retrograde mentality that focuses on a man maintaining power in a relationship. I am not saying that is the case but it would be viewed that way.”

    I suppose a woman needs to be lead to do the right things as he CAN’T dictate her to do anything. If she should view the situation as a negative, she should stop the pretense of being in a relationship with a man. What is a man that should be with her? Is he still a man? Is she a woman?

  • mr. wavevector

    Richard Aubrey,

    If I get you, telling a prospective wife she is to be a SAHM will run her off. You could keep your mouth shut about that, and wait until the baby arrives and makes the argument more forcefully.

    A better strategy for a man would be to take the active role. Screen for maternal interest before making any commitment to a woman, while taking the position that you’re supportive of a woman’s career. Does she want kids? Does she want to work full time, or stay at home or work part time?

    By expressing your support for her career, you signal kindness. This will give her the comfort to express her real interests. If she expresses maternal interest, she does it out of her choice and not in response to your expectations. And if she expresses more career ambitions than maternal ones, then maybe she’s not the girl for you. By not revealing your preferences first, you avoid appearing domineering and thereby disqualifying yourself before you can gauge her true interests.

  • mr. wavevector

    @ Jonny,

    I would prefer the man makes the child the priority. Women should take a back seat to that.

    A woman judges a man’s ability to make a child the priority by his ability to make her a priority.

    What a disappointment that women should be so selfish.

    Women are strongly motivated by self interest – as are men. But women’s reproductive and maternal biological roles give them very strong and specific types of self interest that men don’t have, at least to the same extent. They’re going to have babies, the babies are going to depend on them, and the mothers need to secure the physical and social resources to take care of the babies. They need to put their needs first in this regard. Those female reproductive needs are deeply ingrained in both instinct and culture. This I think is the origin of the “female solipsism” and “feminine imperative” that the manosphere goes on about.

  • Jonny

    “A woman judges a man’s ability to make a child the priority by his ability to make her a priority.”

    So your advice is the man makes sure the child is taken care of by supporting his wife’s career even though she is not around the child much.

    “They’re going to have babies, the babies are going to depend on them, and the mothers need to secure the physical and social resources to take care of the babies. They need to put their needs first in this regard.”

    By working? And getting baby sitters to take care of them? So the woman needs the conforting male to reassure them that he supports her career so she can work to support her child.

    “This I think is the origin of the “female solipsism” and “feminine imperative” that the manosphere goes on about.”

    Irony. Very well done.

  • Lokland

    I told my wife I wanted her to be a SAHM.
    She wants to work (for me, not sure why, good rule of life though, don’t work with family).

    I’ll admit to being very disappointed by this.

    My mother had a pretty good set up. She ran a business which was attached to the house where we lived (big place). She was at most 30 secs away yet still managed to have her own career.

  • http://www.4stargazer.wordpress.com Anacaona

    Then again, I recall once reading that Victorian England felt it necessary to pass a law against men promising marriage in order to obtain premarital sex and then not following through on getting married. I don’t have a citation, so take it as you will. If true, then it suggests it was no easier to figure out someone’s intentions then than it is today.

    I read once in an old newspaper of men that wanted to demand their brides for marriage fraud because it turned out that in the wedding night they exaggerated/improved their assets with padding clothing and they were not happy with the “real deal”
    No system is perfect because humans are not perfect but having everyone having their own systems seems a lot worse than the alternative doesn’t it?

  • http://www.4stargazer.wordpress.com Anacaona

    My mother had a pretty good set up. She ran a business which was attached to the house where we lived (big place). She was at most 30 secs away yet still managed to have her own career.

    My mom sold baked goods right in front of the house, once we were more or less independent studied short careers had daddy more involved in making sure we didn’t set the house on fire…again. eventually managed to get back to college and got her degree a year before I did, then a post degree. Life doesn’t end after motherhood! Or so I’m told. ;)

  • http://7thseriesgongshow.blogspot.com Mr. Nervous Toes

    Off-topic:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/higher-education-network/blog/2012/may/24/why-women-leave-academia

    The number of women in Ph.D. programs who would seek an academic career plummets from 72 % in first year to 37 % by year three. That’s in the UK, I have to imagine in the US where Ph.D.s are generally a couple years longer it’s even worse.

    From the article, “Successful female professors are perceived by female PhD candidates as displaying masculine characteristics, such as aggression and competitiveness, and they were often childless.”

  • mr. wavevector

    “A woman judges a man’s ability to make a child the priority by his ability to make her a priority.”

    So your advice is the man makes sure the child is taken care of by supporting his wife’s career even though she is not around the child much.

    No. That was an observation, not advice.

    “They’re going to have babies, the babies are going to depend on them, and the mothers need to secure the physical and social resources to take care of the babies. They need to put their needs first in this regard.”

    By working? And getting baby sitters to take care of them? So the woman needs the conforting male to reassure them that he supports her career so she can work to support her child.

    Women have been told that they need a career to secure both physical and social resources – a need that I suggest is particularly strong in women due to their reproductive instincts. You are suggesting that this may not be the best thing for the child, but that’s a different point than the one I was making. As for the “comforting male” – that man should figure out whether he wants to play that role with a career woman or not long before any baby is conceived.

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    I had no idea I wasn’t supposed to broach this subject, but I already did with my SO before we went any further, and she said she would be looking forward to only working part-time and putting more effort into running a household and raising kids.

    Probably helps that her mother was also a SAHM.

    She is rather insistent that I not travel, though. THAT is somewhat disappointing…

    Agreed with Jason, this 3/4 of women need to get their heads out their asses.

  • ExNewYorker

    @ADBG

    “Agreed with Jason, this 3/4 of women need to get their heads out their asses.”

    *Laugh* That’s one way to put it.

    This is a really important issue for a guy. You really need to filter, filter, filter, because you don’t want to have to deal with this later.

    This is also interesting because it speaks to one of Susan’s past topics, about whether guys want “intelligent” women. In my case, it wasn’t that I didn’t want an “intelligent” woman, but that I didn’t want to marry a woman with the mentality of those 75%. And boy, my educational female “peers” were mostly of that nature. The more degrees, the stronger the feeling…

  • http://www.4stargazer.wordpress.com Anacaona

    I will add that from my POV there is a lot of social pressure on women to have strong careers before having kids. Being a SHAM is not celebrated but looked down. So my advice to any guy in the dating process whose woman is good in every other aspect but is not looking forward to be a SHAM to show that you find and important and if possible an unappreciated job. And that you wouldn’t mind supporting that choice on your future wife. If she feel strongly about not being a SHAM she will probably filter herself out, if she is on the fence is very unlikely take this negative and appreciate the option. Just my two cents.

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    I do understand the social pressure, but any woman worth her salt has GOT to part from the herd on issues critical to her well-being and the well-being of her family. Otherwise husband and family are screwed as wife chases whatever new fad hits Oprah in the name of social approval.

    If she is unwilling to do that, she is not worthy of “premium” pricing.

  • Ion

    “So my advice to any guy in the dating process whose woman is good in every other aspect but is not looking forward to be a SHAM to show that you find and important and if possible an unappreciated job. And that you wouldn’t mind supporting that choice on your future wife.”

    I so agree Ana. Plenty of good women don’t want to be known as golddiggers, so they just work hard in the hope that men will look at that as an honorable, non free-loading trait.

  • http://www.4stargazer.wordpress.com Anacaona

    I do understand the social pressure, but any woman worth her salt has GOT to part from the herd on issues critical to her well-being and the well-being of her family.

    Except that having a career is sold as the best for the family well being. She is acting out of misinformation not bad faith, YMMV.

  • http://www.rosehope.com Hope

    This is a highly personal and individualized decision, and frankly being a SAHM is a luxury that many families cannot afford these days. I did not and do not aspire to be a SAHM.

    I have several coworkers who are working mothers, and I am also one. They out-earn their husbands, and only through their job can their families be covered by health insurance.

    We are in a better position, because my husband’s job also provides benefits, but there are NO economic guarantees. If my husband lost his job, we would still have health insurance through my job, and we could still pay the bills.

    I still do most of the childcare, cooking, cleaning, domestic stuff, in addition to working. But I am not resentful of my job, because I am lucky to have a very flexible one where my hours are good, I can work from home sometimes, and I have a very nice boss and good coworkers/friends.

    You can tell me that I’m a bad mother because of this, but frankly, my mother-in-law raised a great man, and she worked full time until retirement. So, sorry, I don’t buy it.

  • Joe

    @Susan

    Prior to the Women’s Movement, the default male position was “No wife of mine will ever work!”

    Yes. It was considered demeaning to not be able to provide for your wife and family. And work was also considered demeaning.

    Of course, “work” was most often hard, dirty and boring manual labor, not often rewarded with advancement.

  • Bells

    @Hope,
    I was about to write the same thing.

    While it’s nice to speculate about being a SAHM, I doubt that this option would be feasible to the majority of Americans. Personally, I’d love to be a part-time worker/SAHM mom, but that’s definitely not gonna happen unless I marry a high UMC man.
    So I’m not even going to bother wasting energy with wishful thinking.

    Besides, many children turn out perfectly fine despite having working parents.

  • OffTheCuff

    My mother was both a SAHM and worked full time: night shift.

    Affording a SAHM on one income is more of a choice, planning, and budgeting, and foregoing some luxuries. I live in a high COL area, but low cost *town* relative most Boston zip codes, and do it on a barely-MC income.

    You don’t have to be rich or even UMC, but you do need to be a little smarter with your money than the average bear.

  • Bells

    @Sai
    Re: whatsyourprice

    That site is scamming men from their money. Talk about being a walking target for gold-diggers everywhere. A manipulative woman could easily play the system forever. I hope no sane man actually invests their time into this website.

  • http://www.4stargazer.wordpress.com Anacaona

    Oh oh I see a war coming.
    “Give what is Caesar’s to Caesar and what is God’s to God.”

  • INTJ

    Personally, I think that unless one has very low paying employment, it is immoral to have a full time dual income family. Doing so results in inflation of housing prices and other stuff, leaving single-income couples/families unable to compete on the housing market with the higher earning dual income couples/families.

    I don’t know if it would be feasible or not to impose this morality on my future wife. To be sure, I’m not averse to having a working partner – she’ll just have to let me scale back my own work in proportion, and she shouldn’t lose attraction towards me because of it.

  • Lando

    I think it’s important to note that having the wife be a SAHM does not equal a good marriage.

    My parents are a good example of that. If anything my parent’s marriage declined faster after she started staying at home. I think my Dad started to feel like he was doing all the work in the marriage and putting more effort into providing than she was in maintaining the home.

    My mom was one of those people who’s dream it was to be a housewife and mother. Thing is, she was a terrible housewife.

    I think you’ll do better screening for conscientiousness than you will by whether or not they want to be a SAHM. A conscientious spouse will help support the marriage whether it’s in the workplace or in the home, and that’s what you really want.

  • J

    Hi J! Thanks. I’ve enjoyed our previous discussions, because you too are intelligent and interesting.

    Thank YOU, wave.

  • J

    Re SAHMs

    While I was a SAHM–my choice–when my kids were little, I did have a long career before hand. Many people criticized my “giving up” my career. I am trying to remember just how many flying fucks I gave about their opinions. None, IIRC.

    DH and I were pretty broke when we made that decision. As OTC says, you can get by being a bit smarter than the average bear financially, though DH eventually went corporate to make up for my lost income. I, OTOH, will never be able to get back to where I was career-wise–even thought I did work flextime from the time my younger son started school until I lost my job last year. Not everyone can afford to make that choice or even wants to.

    I wouldn’t advocate either SAH or going back to work; it’s a matter of personal choice. I do recommend that people adopt my policy regarding flying fucks. (And Ana, that means you. ;-) )

  • J

    Unless a ‘buyer’ is resorting to a more formalized purchase (i.e. prostitution), the buyer isn’t buying anything, but rather financing a depreciating asset for a long term.

    What a romantic!!!

    I personally am hoping for a dozen roses with a card addresed to “my little depreciating asset” from DH this Valentine’s Day … cuz nothing says “thanks for spending the last quarter century with me” than being viewed as a depreciating asset.

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

      @J

      I personally am hoping for a dozen roses with a card addresed to “my little depreciating asset” from DH this Valentine’s Day … cuz nothing says “thanks for spending the last quarter century with me” than being viewed as a depreciating asset.

      I think there needs to be a “spectrum” for low EQ, or emotional intelligence disorders. Dark Triad just doesn’t go far enough, IMO.

  • http://www.4stargazer.wordpress.com Anacaona

    I wouldn’t advocate either SAH or going back to work; it’s a matter of personal choice. I do recommend that people adopt my policy regarding flying fucks. (And Ana, that means you. ;-) )

    Heh thanks for the shot out. I’m working on it. Is mostly my “third world girl” complex keeping me from stopping giving the ‘flying fucks’ my husband is the only one married to an expat and although he doesn’t care I still don’t want to be ‘that girl’ if you know what I mean. William smiles when I sing to him (and I sing so bad he is my best and only fan) and learning how do to stuff I teach him so fast helps though…I shall conquer this. :)

  • mr. wavevector

    the buyer isn’t buying anything, but rather financing a depreciating asset for a long term

    Let me consider my 20 year marriage in these utilitarian terms. As I’ve had to fend off a few determined husband-snatchers 15-20 years my junior in recent years, I’ve had opportunity to consider this.

    When viewing my wife only as a sexual asset, this is true. She’s wrinklier, saggier and heavier than she was 20 years ago. However, this physical depreciation is mitigated by the excellent level of sexual service that she has maintained. I can think of only one time in the last few years where she refused my sexual advance. She has maintained this excellent service throughout 3 children and menopause. Could I count on that sustained level of service from a newer model? From what I read, it’s doubtful. They don’t make them like they used to, I’m told. The customer review sites on the internet are full of horror stories from dissatisfied customers.

    Another aspect of value is emotional return. The asset has a 20 year track record of dependable character, emotional stability, and pleasing disposition, and a consistent record of yielding high emotional returns. Unlike the sexual value, this type of asset can appreciate strongly in time.

    A surprise benefit of the asset has been an unexpected expansion in the food service industry. I entered the corporation expecting a 50-50 egalitarian split of food service chores. Now I have a SAHM who packs my lunch every day and has a hot meal ready when I come home. This benefit was not solicited on my part. It’s like buying a stock that unexpectedly starts paying high dividends.

    But the biggest benefit of my continued investment in this asset is that it gives me a controlling interest in the family corporation. This is currently a flourishing enterprise, with three healthy, well adjusted, academically and athletically high achieving sons, a work environment that receives high ratings from the employees, and a management team with a proven track record. Given the rules of incorporation where I live, withdrawing my investment from the depreciating asset would result in my being stripped of my controlling interest and the payment of a large portion of my remaining assets in penalties. (And while emotions should not drive business decisions, I have to admit that this would be devastating to me.)

    My conclusion is that this asset is depreciating only on one axis of value. A complete accounting shows that it is an asset that has yielded high returns, such that any attempt to sell with the goal of buying a higher return asset would be likely to produce a significant loss.

    My analyst recommendation for this asset is a Strong Buy. (The asset objects to the rating Overweight).

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

      @mr. wavevector

      That is an awesome Proverbs 31 for our times!

  • Jason773

    Susan,

    I knew that study was in direct contrast to some of the data that you have posted, which is why I was skeptical, but I’ll remain open to it until proven otherwise. Still, it was pretty shocking. I know only two hypothetical choices were given, with no middle ground, but for women to even think that they would rather pick divorce and single motherhood over an intact family that is provided for, well, that mindset is just baffling to me.

    I mean, even if a woman really really loved her career and couldn’t see herself as being a SAHM, two seconds of rational thought should dictate that a cohesive family unit is 1000x better than single motherhood in that hypothetical situation.

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

      @Jason

      I can’t speak to the study because I don’t have it. Reading Lisa Wade’s post, I had the sense that women were asked something like the following:

      “What if your husband told you that you had to stay at home full time and would not be permitted to work outside the home?”

      There was an undercurrent of gender roles stuff, which as I mentioned, is Lisa Wade’s bread and butter. If the study did invoke some sort of controlling behavior on the part of males, I can understand why women would essentially consider that a dealbreaker. We don’t know how the question of divorce was raised either. For example, if the question were:

      “If your husband made it clear that all decisions about your career would be his, would you rather divorce and raise your children alone or stay married to him and follow his orders?”

      I would certainly respond “divorce” – and I’d be surprised if the number was as low as 75%.

      Perhaps INTJ can actually link to the study rather than a feminist article about a study contained in a 2010 book about gender roles, conducted by the author herself. This discussion is pure conjecture and I would caution you to take the findings to heart without having any idea how the study was structured. The fact that it is straight out of the radfem establishment gives me pause, to say the least.

  • Jason773

    ExNewYorker,

    This is also interesting because it speaks to one of Susan’s past topics, about whether guys want “intelligent” women. In my case, it wasn’t that I didn’t want an “intelligent” woman, but that I didn’t want to marry a woman with the mentality of those 75%. And boy, my educational female “peers” were mostly of that nature. The more degrees, the stronger the feeling…

    Exactly. If we are taking that data at face value, then the whole of that mentality (not just the SAHM issue) being bred into young women today is prevasive and a disease to our culture. It is essentially a blow to any core family values. I’ve tried getting this point across to Susan, and she has been skeptical in her own right due to contradicting data, but I’ve seen this SMP up close and personal.

    IMO, my generation, the millenials, are going to have quite the dysfunctional family foundation, with divorce and age of marriage shooting up in the next 10-20 years.

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

      @Jason

      . If we are taking that data at face value, then the whole of that mentality (not just the SAHM issue) being bred into young women today is prevasive and a disease to our culture

      Why are you taking it at face value? That’s intellectually lazy and a hair trigger response. It only serves to amplify the impression you give re confirmation bias.

      Here’s some data for you to chew on, from my post Millennials and Marriage:

      It’s a mistake to assume that middle-aged women, triumphant in divorce and retreating to feminist slogans, speak for a new generation of women. Here are some findings about the women of Generation Y, born between 1985 and 2004:

      1. “Personal” goals of getting married, having children or owning a home trump “professional” goals of becoming a manager, earning a certain salary or starting a business. (63% vs. 23%).
      2. 81% of Gen Y women plan to return to work after having children.
      3. Research by the Families and Work Institute found that 50% of Gen Y (men and women) place higher priority on family than work, 37% place the same priority on their work and family, and only 13% place higher priority on work than their family.
      4. A 2010 Pew Research Center study found that 52% of Gen Y polled thought being a good parent was of the utmost importance in life.
      68% say becoming a mom is on their priority list.
      5. A large number of Gen Y women are burning out on their careers by age 30. While 53% of corporate entry-level jobs are held by women, that number drops to 37% for middle-management.
      6. 70% of Millennials (men and women) want to marry, and 74% want children.
      7. A survey of Gen Y women revealed that 59% feel that “living together” is a legitimate lifestyle and a majority said it is okay to remain unmarried even if they have children.
      8. Demographer Kenneth Gronbach believes that Generation Y will begin to “marry with a vengeance” as they hit the average age at first marriage.

      The body of research is all about predicting what Millennials will do. They actually haven’t gotten there yet. The oldest Gen Y’ers are just 27 today, still below the average marriage age.

  • Ted D

    Susan – “FTR, we raise daughters today to achieve. Academically then professionally. A smart girl who says she wants to stay home and have babies is a source of shame to her family and her community.”

    Really? So I should be ashamed of my daughters if they decide being a mother is the most important job they will ever want or have? Damn, I guess I have MY priorities all screwed up… /sarcasm off

    “The fact that there are men out there who think this way is enough to get women feeling extremely defensive (and independent).”

    Funny since I’m a firm believer that the invention of the “Independent Woman” ™ has much to do with the crappy state we find ourselves in today. Sure, lets raise a generation or two of people that firmly believe they can’t rely on anyone else and MUST be completely self-supporting, and then see what happens to marriage and family. Didn’t it occur to anyone that the system worked because men AND women depended on each other a great deal to MAKE it work? It is mind maddeningly difficult to get a woman to actually trust a man enough to depend on him, and I can’t see how a marriage will ever work if there is no dependency at all.

    I’m not suggesting women should be completely at the mercy of their husband. But at some point she WILL need to admit she needs him, or there really isn’t much incentive to make it work long term. Hmmmm, wonder what the result of that will be?

    “I think there needs to be a “spectrum” for low EQ, or emotional intelligence disorders. Dark Triad just doesn’t go far enough, IMO.”

    Sounds like someone is a little cranky. :P

    We talk about sex like it is a product all the time. But now that someone points out the obviously missed part of buying a ‘product’ you and the ladies are getting upset? How to you think a young 20-something guy feels when he realizes his ‘product’ just isn’t worth the investment until AFTER he’s done all the hard work of improving himself alone? Romance has very little place in the conversation when it comes to LTRs and Marriage, unless we are talking about RomComs.

    Hope – “You can tell me that I’m a bad mother because of this, but frankly, my mother-in-law raised a great man, and she worked full time until retirement. So, sorry, I don’t buy it”

    I don’t think anyone said that a mother can ONLY be good if she stays home with the kids. The debate as far as I can tell is that most women simply won’t even entertain the idea until AFTER the first baby arrives. Seems to be that is very bad planning on her and her childs father’s part. I was raised by a single mother that worked full time my entire childhood. She was lucky in that during my youngest years my grandmother was able to stay home with me during the day. I would never say she was a bad mom because she had to support me by working, but the truth is I was still raised by family, and not some stranger at a daycare.

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

      @Ted D

      Really? So I should be ashamed of my daughters if they decide being a mother is the most important job they will ever want or have? Damn, I guess I have MY priorities all screwed up… /sarcasm off

      Ahem, solipsism.

      I didn’t say you should be ashamed. Nor did I say that women are shamed for considering motherhood their most important role. I believe society shames young women for having no ambition other than marriage and family. You may disagree with that, but that is the predominant culture, outside of religious sects.

      If my extremely intelligent daughter had said to me at age 10 “All I ever want to be is a mommy,” I would have realized I had some work to do. The fact is, women have considerable intellectual candle power, and being a SAHM makes it very difficult to exercise it. Having done it, I know this well. A mind is a terrible thing to waste, even if it’s only a girl’s mind.

  • Jason773

    Susan,

    I completely agree with you about taking pause with the study, but my own anecdotal evidence seems to back some of that mentality, which is why I am taking it mostly at face value until proven otherwise. I think I was shocked more at the 75% number, as I would have thought it only would have been a large minority, like 40%.

    As far as the language of the questioning, well, I don’t know. I’m sure you have more insight as to what parlor tricks are used by radfems to claw out the data that they are seeking, but I just can’t wrap my head around such loaded language. I know some of these women are nuts, but are they really crazy enough to throw out any and all foundations of social science and ask completely loaded questions for which they know the answer to? Possibly, but if so, I don’t understand how they ever received an ounce of credibility in the first place.

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

      I completely agree with you about taking pause with the study, but my own anecdotal evidence seems to back some of that mentality, which is why I am taking it mostly at face value until proven otherwise.

      Well you can accept it at face value or get more information. It makes no difference to me. Based on the information we have, there’s not enough material for an intelligent debate.

  • Bells

    In 2010, the census bureau determined that 23% of women are STAHM. Gallup’s most recent 2012 poll places this percentage at 14%. So canceling out women based on a choice of being a STAHM would be an unreasonable filter. After quick online reading, it seems like the STAHM route is primarily used by three types of women. For women with lower income (in which the cost of daycare is equivalent to staying at home and taking care of your own children), for the UMC+ who have the privilege of making this an option, and for very conservative families with religious rationales.

    I do think that being a STAHM is generally a smart decision for those who have larger families (~4+). Nonetheless, I will be the first to admit that I am nowhere close to truly weighing the financial logistics of having a family. I’m sure every family has their individual plans and needs.

    @INTJ

    Personally, I think that unless one has very low paying employment, it is immoral to have a full time dual income family. Doing so results in inflation of housing prices and other stuff, leaving single-income couples/families unable to compete on the housing market with the higher earning dual income couples/families…I don’t know if it would be feasible or not to impose this morality on my future wife

    hmm, although I often volunteer in altruistic activities to help people in need. I definitely do not support hindering the well-being of my family for a faceless demographic.

    But it is really cool to meet someone with such a high level of compassion.

    @Lando

    I think it’s important to note that having the wife be a SAHM does not equal a good marriage…I think you’ll do better screening for conscientiousness than you will by whether or not they want to be a SAHM. A conscientious spouse will help support the marriage whether it’s in the workplace or in the home, and that’s what you really want

    Agreed!

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

      Personally, I think that unless one has very low paying employment, it is immoral to have a full time dual income family.

      Wow. I have no words.

  • Jason773

    Susan,

    The data that you just gave is still not at odds with the mentality that we are talking about, especially if 59% of Gen Y women think illegitimate children are fine and dandy. I have no doubt that a large percentage of that 75% still want to have kids and get married, but the data you gave says nothing about staying married and keeping an intact family unit. Time will tell…

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

      @Jason

      FYI, that data is all SES groups, not college grads. Since the divorce rate among college grads remains only 16%, extrapolating is far from straightforward.

  • Bells

    @Jason
    That study does sound crazy to me. Divorcing in place of being a STAHM seems highly irrational.
    I think that an underlying component maybe the fact that the women perceive that their free will is being taken away from them by a controlling husband.

  • Ted D

    Susan – “A mind is a terrible thing to waste, even if it’s only a girl’s mind.”

    Yeah, because there is NO WAY to use your mind while you are at home taking care of kids. *rolls eyes*

    Susan, this is 2013. There are so many ways to connect to the world from your living room today that I simply can’t see this as a reasonable excuse. I would never suggest that anyone, man OR woman, should sit at home all day and be bored. But, you DO NOT have to be involved in gainful employment to use your brain. Not even close. In fact, I’d say that many of the jobs I’ve had in my life actually LIMITED the use of my brain, because the jobs were menial and labor intensive.

    I think the problem is that far too many people place too much importance on what they do for money, and not nearly enough importance on what they do for themselves and others. WHo gives a shit what you do for a living as long as you can support your family? Work is a means to an end. I certainly don’t feel like I’ve somehow “made it” because I work in an office, or manage people, or even because I routinely risk my companies money while implementing a new project. At the end of the day, all it is to me is a paycheck. I’d much rather invest all that emotional energy in my family.

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

      @Ted

      Yeah, because there is NO WAY to use your mind while you are at home taking care of kids. *rolls eyes*

      Yeah, not really. I’ve done it. I adored my time with my kids, but in the evenings and on weekends I was starved for intellectual stimulation. Once they got to school, I filled as many hours as I could with challenging activities and interests. I taught, I ran organizations, I acted in plays, I consulted.

      I could not have done any of those things without a husband who understood and was willing to cover for me sometimes.

      To see just how bored some women are, notice how many home-schooling mothers spend most of their day on blogs. Not sure who’s actually teaching their kids.

  • http://bastiatblogger.blogspot.com Bastiat Blogger

    I wonder if the key psychological trigger in the SAHM discussion is a variation on “the woman’s right to choose”.

    -if a dominant tradcon male insists that his wife leave her job to be an SAHM, perhaps a majority of women would find this oppressive and feel that they (and the kids?) would be better served by divorce and single motherhood

    -on the other hand, a similar majority of women would aspire to SAHM and may resent their husbands if they are not making enough money to allow
    this

    It sounds as though women want the option but not obligation to become SAHMs, just as they want dominant alpha preselected-but-non-promiscuous traditional dating-but-pro-feminist Nice Guy high-income/SMV/MMV vampire-werewolf-S&M dark lover badasses.

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

      It sounds as though women want the option but not obligation to become SAHMs,

      I think they want to be respected as partners in the decision-making process about how they spend their lives. This can all be easily negotiated before marriage, and needn’t be a source of conflict when children arrive. The hypothetical we’re discussing here presumably involves a 180 on the part of the male, something that seems unlikely.

  • Jason773

    It sounds as though women want the option but not obligation to become SAHMs, just as they want dominant alpha preselected-but-non-promiscuous traditional dating-but-pro-feminist Nice Guy high-income/SMV/MMV vampire-werewolf-S&M dark lover badasses.

    Sounds about right.

  • Bells

    @BB

    It sounds as though women want the option but not obligation to become SAHMs, just as they want dominant alpha preselected-but-non-promiscuous traditional dating-but-pro-feminist Nice Guy high-income/SMV/MMV vampire-werewolf-S&M dark lover badasses

    This list made me laugh. Personally, I’d pick the traditional dating-non promiscuous-high MMV man in preference to your other mentioned characteristics.
    Your list goes back to American entitlement and to the promotion of “because you’re worth it” mantra.

  • Ted D

    BB – cosigned @ 167

  • mr. wavevector

    @Bells,

    According to a 2007 Pew Research survey, only 21 percent of working mothers with minor children want to be in the office full-time. Sixty percent say that they would prefer to work part-time, and 19 percent would like to give up their jobs altogether. For working fathers, the numbers are reversed: 72 percent want to work full-time and 12 percent part-time.

    That’s consistent with your data. It seems like what most mothers want is some compromise between being a SAHM and a careerist.

    Unfortunately the economy and the employment model in the U.S. is not well suited to accommodating part time workers. It’s unfortunate, because many jobs that we think of as only full-time could be divided into part-time jobs with a little imagination. (The job I’m supposed to be doing right now is one of them.)

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

      Unfortunately the economy and the employment model in the U.S. is not well suited to accommodating part time workers. It’s unfortunate, because many jobs that we think of as only full-time could be divided into part-time jobs with a little imagination.

      This is unfortunate. I tried to find a part-time position for a long time, but it was just about impossible in business. I have friends in law and medicine who have had an easier time carving one out. Though it is by no means easy.

      Part-time work would suit many women very well, especially once the kids go to school. Ultimately, I made my own PT work, but it was rather difficult to do on my terms.

  • INTJ

    @ mr. wavevector

    Could I count on that sustained level of service from a newer model? From what I read, it’s doubtful. They don’t make them like they used to, I’m told. The customer review sites on the internet are full of horror stories from dissatisfied customers.

    That’s the point though. Your asset was a great long term investment. Most of the assets today are not good long term investments, both as sexual and emotional assets.

    We need to filter a hell of a lot harder when we invest.

  • INTJ

    @ Susan

    Perhaps INTJ can actually link to the study rather than a feminist article about a study contained in a 2010 book about gender roles, conducted by the author herself.

    I doubt it. I just saw the link on intjforum, and don’t have the book or the article.

  • INTJ

    @ Ted D, Susan

    We talk about sex like it is a product all the time. But now that someone points out the obviously missed part of buying a ‘product’ you and the ladies are getting upset? How to you think a young 20-something guy feels when he realizes his ‘product’ just isn’t worth the investment until AFTER he’s done all the hard work of improving himself alone? Romance has very little place in the conversation when it comes to LTRs and Marriage, unless we are talking about RomComs.

    My thoughts exactly.

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

      We talk about sex like it is a product all the time. But now that someone points out the obviously missed part of buying a ‘product’ you and the ladies are getting upset?

      Sex is a product. Commitment is a product. Men and women are human beings, not products. They are buyers and sellers of products. Thankfully, we no longer buy and sell people.

  • mr. wavevector

    @BB,

    I wonder if the key psychological trigger in the SAHM discussion is a variation on “the woman’s right to choose”.

    Yes. That’s what I was getting at upthread with the strength/kindness dialectic. (This dialectic is also discussed as alpha/beta, or dominance/caring). The ideal male partner will demonstrate enough strength/dominance/alpha to provide arousal and and sense of security. However, the kindness/caring/beta qualities are also needed so that the man is not perceived as oppressive and domineering.

    -if a dominant tradcon male insists that his wife leave her job to be an SAHM, perhaps a majority of women would find this oppressive and feel that they (and the kids?) would be better served by divorce and single motherhood

    i.e. too much alpha/dominance/strength and not enough beta/caring/kindness comes across as oppressive and domineering.

    -on the other hand, a similar majority of women would aspire to SAHM and may resent their husbands if they are not making enough money to allow
    this

    i.e. not enough alpha/dominance/strength

    It sounds as though women want the option but not obligation to become SAHMs, just as they want dominant alpha preselected-but-non-promiscuous traditional dating-but-pro-feminist Nice Guy high-income/SMV/MMV vampire-werewolf-S&M dark lover badasses.

    i.e. the inscrutable Hegelian dialectic of female desire; alpha thesis, beta anti-thesis, and the synthesis of the dream mate. As the Arabs say, “women want fried ice”.

  • INTJ

    @ Susan

    The fact is, women have considerable intellectual candle power, and being a SAHM makes it very difficult to exercise it.

    This is what I don’t understand. I’d personally think that barring the insane workload of the toddler/infancy stage, if I staid at home once the kids are somewhat grown, I’d be able to apply my intellectual candle power to various things far better than I would be able to if I were busy working 8 hours a day.

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

      @INTJ

      I staid at home once the kids are somewhat grown, I’d be able to apply my intellectual candle power to various things far better than I would be able to if I were busy working 8 hours a day.

      You know, I never could justify sitting down with a Russian novel once I’d dropped the kids at school. It was that pesky productivity thing again – how to do something worthwhile, make a contribution, make things happen, make connections, learn, teach, etc.

      For women who don’t share that view, it’s still pretty difficult to find stimulation in isolation. Perhaps this is an extravert thing – I felt intellectually stimulated both in the learning or conceiving stage, and in the implementation or building stage. That’s very difficult to find at home, which is why so many women do wish to work part-time.

  • INTJ

    @ Susan

    Personally, I think that unless one has very low paying employment, it is immoral to have a full time dual income family.

    Wow. I have no words.

    You give an alternative solution to the two-income trap then. After all, it’s your generation that created the problem in the first place.

    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2004/11/two-income-trap

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

      @INTJ

      You give an alternative solution to the two-income trap then. After all, it’s your generation that created the problem in the first place.

      The solution, which the article mentions as a joke, is that we need a smaller workforce. If women all stayed home, the wealth gap would vanish. Not gonna happen.

      Whatever happens, I think calling someone’s choices about working “immoral” is problematic.

  • Ted D

    Susan – “I didn’t say you should be ashamed. Nor did I say that women are shamed for considering motherhood their most important role. I believe society shames young women for having no ambition other than marriage and family. You may disagree with that, but that is the predominant culture, outside of religious sects.”

    I was trying to make a point, as I would never shame my daugthers for coming to the conclusion that family is more important than a career.

    But here is the larger point: You often complain that people see the dating market as a “war” of the sexes. Well, if we continue to raise women to compete directly with men in all facets of life, why is it a surprise when they continue to compete with their husbands INSTEAD of working with him as a team? We are basically raising women to NOT trust men (which in and of itself isn’t a bad thing considering) AND to compete with them as hard if not harder than they compete with themselves.

    Do you think its easy for a young woman that has been told all her life to be “independent” and achieve at all costs to set all that aside just because she got married? If we want successful long-term marriage, we need to start telling young men AND women that they will need to depend on each other to make it work.

    There is a war of the sexes because we are literally training our children from birth to BE in competition with each other at all times, and then wonder why they can’t keep a relationship.

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

      @Ted D

      I think we’re rewarding both boys and girls to be competitive in general. Not necessarily just against the opposite sex. The competition in my daughter’s all-girls high school was fierce. Girls are outcompeting boys in high school and we see where that’s getting us.

      I also don’t think we’re teaching kids to be competitive in relationships, at least not as a value we’re trying to impart. I think we want to teach children to be self-reliant in a world that feels very risky.

      It is true that both sexes compete for the upper hand in relationships – in particular the Principle of Least Interest – they compete to see who can care less. Not a recipe for happiness, obviously. But that’s a cultural phenomenon, IMO.

  • collegeboy

    @Susan: In a study by the National Marriage Project at UVA on why men are delaying marriage, the #1 reason given by respondents was: “I can get sex without marriage more easily than in times past.”

    collegeboy: Men are delaying marriage for other reasons. One thing is the market for sex and the other is the market for mothers and wives. When men are young and ignorant its easy for them to think that sex is enough prerequisite for marriage, but the older men get, the more they will start judging based on behavior and capabilities.

    And its easy sex for men who manage to be alpha, not for every man, remember hypergamy, also applies to easy sex.

  • pvw

    @Ana:

    I’m working on it. Is mostly my “third world girl” complex keeping me from stopping giving the ‘flying fucks’ my husband is the only one married to an expat and although he doesn’t care I still don’t want to be ‘that girl’ if you know what I mean.

    Me: I’m not sure what you mean. Is it that you are very self-conscious regarding others’ criticism of your choices, and you are concerned about that, your ability to ignore the criticism?

  • JP

    @Susan:

    “If my extremely intelligent daughter had said to me at age 10 “All I ever want to be is a mommy,” I would have realized I had some work to do. ”

    Some women really *do* like being mothers and it really *is* what they want to do.

    And I have never found a place where I can actually use more than about a quarter of my intelligence.

    The working world tends to be a very unpleasant combination of boredom and stress unless you can get on an actual career track and obtain actual mentors.

  • Ion

    Ted

    “I was trying to make a point, as I would never shame my daugthers for coming to the conclusion that family is more important than a career. ”

    But most women don’t seem to have “careers” that seems to me to be a T.V. myth, at this point. Most young women seem to have “jobs” that they are not invested in, but keep in order to support themselves. Obviously a surgeon or a journalist is more invested in holding on to the “career” they have than an administrative assistant, or a girl working makeup counter at Macys, or a cubicle cog to some degree (most associates-bachelors degree jobs now).

    I know none of us can solve all the world’s problems, but what is the solution? Should girls 18-25 NOT go to school and just wait to land a 35yr old+ beta willing to marry? Should they go to college, accumulate debt and then not pay it off to go the SAH mommy route? How do you suggest they support themselves before they find betas willing to settle down from age 18-25? Some of us also have aging relatives we have to consider eventually, what should they do about this? What if they are attracted to non UMCbeta group who can’t afford/doesn’t want a SAHM, since holding out for one is alleged hypergamy?

    ” If we want successful long-term marriage, we need to start telling young men AND women that they will need to depend on each other to make it work. ”

    I agree 100%

  • Bells

    @Ted D

    But here is the larger point: You often complain that people see the dating market as a “war” of the sexes. Well, if we continue to raise women to compete directly with men in all facets of life, why is it a surprise when they continue to compete with their husbands INSTEAD of working with him as a team? We are basically raising women to NOT trust men (which in and of itself isn’t a bad thing considering) AND to compete with them as hard if not harder than they compete with themselves….Do you think its easy for a young woman that has been told all her life to be “independent” and achieve at all costs to set all that aside just because she got married? If we want successful long-term marriage, we need to start telling young men AND women that they will need to depend on each other to make it work

    In my point of view, I don’t believe that being independent financially is comparable and inseparable from being distrustful of your husband. In the other thread “How the Ascendancy of the Alpha Female Will Impact Marriage” I gave an example of how my mom was fully capable of being interdependent with my father despite being the highest earner.

    My parents did not instill in me the importance of being a high achiever solely to directly compete with men. They taught me to work hard in order to be able to contribute financially to my marriage. I define a large part of marriage as the ability to pool together resources in order to raise stable and happy children. I earn to help my family team not to compete against my husband. After all, we’re both working towards the same end goal.

  • Bells

    uhh, if my first sentence seems confusing to people. It should be: “In my point of view, I don’t believe that being independent financially is comparable and inseparable TO being distrustful of your husband.”

    ..i think that should clear things up

  • JP

    “My parents did not instill in me the importance of being a high achiever solely to directly compete with men.”

    Well, you might not be in competition with us, but we are surely in competition with you.

    And if the only way to win is by defeating you…

    Well, then we will defeat you…and in so doing, we *will* treat you like men, with all that male on male competition implies.

  • http://www.rosehope.com Hope

    Bells, you sound like you had great parents! And I totally agree. I never think of work as a competition. I work to provide security to our family. I like being able to contribute financially, and I earn almost as much as my husband.

    My husband and I have a great marriage. We’re a team, and the money we both make will help send our kids to private school. That is and has always been our goal. I fully admit to being a terrible teacher, and so I would not be a good choice in schooling our kids.

    From my husband’s perspective, he can get more toys and gadgets, and have a higher quality of living, because I work. That has a net positive effect on our marriage as well. We are not living paycheck to paycheck. We can drop money on big/emergency things and still put away savings.

    We provide a loving, stable and low drama home for our baby. We So it’s not “perfect” because I am not a “perfect” SAHM doing everything “perfectly.” But it’s pretty good.

  • mr. wavevector

    @ INTJ;

    That’s the point though. Your asset was a great long term investment. Most of the assets today are not good long term investments, both as sexual and emotional assets.

    We need to filter a hell of a lot harder when we invest.

    I agree. That’s why I have trouble recommending marriage to young men. It’s not that I think they need to be able to attain the blissful 1950′s retro-marriage that I find myself in. (I myself expected something more egalitarian when I married.)

    But it’s hard to recommend marriage when women’s attitudes indicate that he can expect to be domineered and dominated by a demanding wife or to have her appropriate his resources and children through the family court system.

  • JP

    @Hope:

    “My husband and I have a great marriage. We’re a team, and the money we both make will help send our kids to private school. That is and has always been our goal. I fully admit to being a terrible teacher, and so I would not be a good choice in schooling our kids.”

    Funny.

    My wife spent a couple of years at the local private academy.

    She wants to send our kids to the local public school.

    Granted, we do walk to school in the morning.

  • Bells

    @JP
    I don’t treat career competition on a gender basis. I treat it as a family based affair in which families compete with other families in order to get the best resources.

    My mom is involved in plenty of work place politics however she doesn’t retain her leadership through masculine practices but through a feminine perspective. I hope to be able to emulate this mindset in the future. I do not want to compete as a man. I’m aware that I can never play the part of a man better than a real man himself

    @Hope

    Thank you. I hope, one day, to become as wise as they are :)

  • JP

    My wife is of the opinion that it’s best if she supervise the kids during adolescence so that they stay out of trouble and can be adequately managed.

    Her mother used this technique, including drive her sister all over creation going to dog shows, to get her a full scholarship to college.

    Her mother was also available to make sure that her brother stayed on the med school track.

  • JP

    @Bells:

    I honestly generally try to avoid competition whenever possible given that I don’t respond well to the stress of competition.

  • http://www.rosehope.com Hope

    JP, keeping kids on a leash all through life… there’s a term for it, helicopter parenting.

    We prefer to teach independence, willpower, self-discipline, wisdom, and ability to go your own way. The fact of the matter is that parents cannot control every little aspect of their children’s lives.

    Bells is a good example of what two good parents can do for a child.imo. And hey look, the mother worked. :P

  • JP

    @Hope:

    It was more of a production line for valedictorians.

    She was 2 for 3.

  • Hey
  • JP

    @Hope:

    Although she was only 1 for 3 on Harvard acceptances.

  • kaboombaby

    Susan, you must love the following McSweeney’s article then: http://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/its-not-you-its-quantitative-cost-benefit-analysis

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

      @kaboombaby

      That McSweeney’s article is hilarious! Thanks for sharing it.

  • Ted D

    Bells – “In my point of view, I don’t believe that being independent financially is comparable and inseparable TO being distrustful of your husband.”

    I agree, but are we actually telling young men and women this? As JP pointed out, even if women are NOT directly competing with men, men often perceive it as such, and will react appropriately.

    We are being taught to treat everyone the same (in the name of equality) and it makes sense to me that it is part of the current issue with marriage and divorce. If I treated my wife the way I might treat a woman in the office that I am in competition over a position for, our marriage wouldn’t last long. EVERY decision would be an argument. EVERY move would be planned to maximize my benefit regardless of how it affects her. No matter how pleasant I may sound when talking to her, the undertone would be one of friction.

    I’ll say this: your post has me thinking that perhaps the issue isn’t that women don’t trust men as much (and again I’m not saying that lack of trust isn’t justified in general) but more the fact that men simply have difficulty seeing “women” in the office as competition, and the “woman” at home as his partner.

    More likely it is a combination of the two. However you want to slice it, it has only been in the last 50 years or so that society has pitched men and women together as competitors in the job market (at least for the higher paying jobs) and it seems to me that the competition is bleeding over into personal life often.

  • http://www.rosehope.com Hope

    In China, women have been working for a long time. My grandmother, mother, and all aunts and older female relatives worked full time.

    There, the competition is fierce for everything: school, employment, marriage, etc. Still patriarchal in mindset, but working mothers are common.

    BTW, this may explain why Lokland’s wife doesn’t really want to be a SAHM. It’s a cultural difference. Women work in Asia, if educated at all.

  • JP

    @Susan:

    “You know, I never could justify sitting down with a Russian novel once I’d dropped the kids at school. ”

    I’m pretty sure that reading russian novels involves “learning” and “making (cognitive) connections.”

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

      I’m pretty sure that reading russian novels involves “learning” and “making (cognitive) connections.”

      Oh definitely, but that would have felt way too self-indulgent. If my husband is the breadwinner, and my kids are at school, entertaining myself while everyone else works seems not quite kosher.

  • Bells

    @Ted D

    I agree, but are we actually telling young men and women this? As JP pointed out, even if women are NOT directly competing with men, men often perceive it as such, and will react appropriately.

    We are being taught to treat everyone the same (in the name of equality) and it makes sense to me that it is part of the current issue with marriage and divorce. If I treated my wife the way I might treat a woman in the office that I am in competition over a position for, our marriage wouldn’t last long…. but more the fact that men simply have difficulty seeing “women” in the office as competition, and the “woman” at home as his partner.

    Yea definitely. I’m sure some guys have trouble treating women as their wives because there are women in the workplace. But it is the responsibility of every parent to guide their children through workplace and family dynamics. And I, as a woman, refuse to be held down for being an achiever just because many parents did not teach their children these proper attitudes.

    You don’t have to compete with your wife. She’s there with you because she equally wants the best for the family. I completely support the captain/first officer model.

  • ExNewYorker

    @Bells,
    “I think that an underlying component maybe the fact that the women perceive that their free will is being taken away from them by a controlling husband.”

    Well, one of the major features of current culture is how deeply feminism is embedded in everything. So it’s not surprising that the idea of a “controlling husband” would be so widespread and feared…this makes a marriage a contest to see who has hand, rather than a team effort with both sides working together and depending on each other.

    This is the point Jason and I have discussed, that particularly for the “educated” women we’ve met, this mentality was quite prevalent (my experience was a decade ago, but Jason’s is more recent). I had a couple of girlfriends who I broke up with because I observed this type of behavior (trust, but verify), and I’m glad I did because I would have hated to be in marriage where we both weren’t pulling in the same direction.

  • JP

    @Susan:

    “I think we want to teach children to be self-reliant in a world that feels very risky.”

    This doesn’t work because the only solution is interdependence, not self-reliance.

    Self-reliance is libertarianism, essentially the teenage version of independence.

    We’re all always going to be dependent on others and there is no way around that.

    Self-sufficiency is an illusion because it actually increases risk.

  • JP

    @ExNewYorker:

    “I had a couple of girlfriends who I broke up with because I observed this type of behavior (trust, but verify), and I’m glad I did because I would have hated to be in marriage where we both weren’t pulling in the same direction.”

    Can you flesh this out with some anecdotes?

    I’m honestly curious as to what you saw/experienced.

  • JP

    Here’s a nice article about how parents have always been subsidized.

    http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/making-humans/201210/parents-have-always-been-subsidized

  • pvw

    @Ted (@Bells): I’ll say this: your post has me thinking that perhaps the issue isn’t that women don’t trust men as much (and again I’m not saying that lack of trust isn’t justified in general) but more the fact that men simply have difficulty seeing “women” in the office as competition, and the “woman” at home as his partner.

    More likely it is a combination of the two. However you want to slice it, it has only been in the last 50 years or so that society has pitched men and women together as competitors in the job market (at least for the higher paying jobs) and it seems to me that the competition is bleeding over into personal life often.

    @Bells: Yea definitely. I’m sure some guys have trouble treating women as their wives because there are women in the workplace. But it is the responsibility of every parent to guide their children through workplace and family dynamics. And I, as a woman, refuse to be held down for being an achiever just because many parents did not teach their children these proper attitudes. You don’t have to compete with your wife.

    Me: And it is not just about men not being able to do this, as both you and Bells suggest, but women being able to as well. Of course, there are women who see the relationship as competition and “can’t turn it off,” but if a woman has the more grounded attitude that Bells has described, the argument JP made is surprising…And it fits very well with the “domineering/controlling/potentially abusive” husband trope being discussed here. That if he sees dating you as working towards a long term relationship, his ultimate goal is going to try and “take you down.” And how else to “take a woman down,” but through her femaleness, and especially through her biology, by making her dependent?

    JP @Bells: “My parents did not instill in me the importance of being a high achiever solely to directly compete with men.”

    Well, you might not be in competition with us, but we are surely in competition with you.

    And if the only way to win is by defeating you…

    Well, then we will defeat you…and in so doing, we *will* treat you like men, with all that male on male competition implies.

    [This argument seems to be about workplace dynamics, though].

  • JP

    @pvw:

    “[This argument seems to be about workplace dynamics, though].”

    I was making the workplace dynamics argument, not the dating/relationship argument.

    From the thinking that “there is only one CEO spot and only one winner, and the only way that I can win is if you lose.”

    Of course a problem is that “Winner-Take-All” is somewhat insane.

  • Ted D

    Susan – “It is true that both sexes compete for the upper hand in relationships – in particular the Principle of Least Interest – they compete to see who can care less. Not a recipe for happiness, obviously. But that’s a cultural phenomenon, IMO.”

    Isn’t being raised to be super competitive also a cultural phenomenon?

    So where exactly did we learn the Principal of Least Interest as children? If parent’s aren’t directly teaching it, then it must be coming from someone/where else in our society. Seems to me teaching people to compete with everyone instead of learning to work with other people might be a contributing factor, as well as the strong push for modern women to “break the glass ceiling”.

    I’m honestly asking, because I agree that fighting for “hand” is a sure recipe for disaster. So, why is it so prevalent? Where did men and women get the idea that it was even necessary to be “in control” of the relationship? Perhaps right around the time that men were removed as the default “leader” of their households? When we started telling young girls “you don’t need a man! Just work hard and you can support yourself without having to be led around by a husband!”? When we started telling boys “its sexist to want your wife to stay home and take care of your children. Don’t you want her to have everything she wants?”

    Somewhere men and women got the message that they are not on the same side and instead began viewing each other as a potential enemy. I don’t believe this is our natural state of existing, so something else prompted it.

    I’ll add that this looks very similar to other situations such as racial tension, and I’ve seen plenty of so called “leaders” doing more to propagate racism than to banish it. In many cases those “leaders” are financially profiting from keeping racism alive and well. So, if we follow the money in the “war of the sexes” issue, where does it lead? Who profits the most from men and women viewing each other as the enemy? I don’t know the answer, but I will surely be chewing on it for awhile.

  • pvw

    @Ion: I know none of us can solve all the world’s problems, but what is the solution? Should girls 18-25 NOT go to school and just wait to land a 35yr old+ beta willing to marry? Should they go to college, accumulate debt and then not pay it off to go the SAH mommy route? How do you suggest they support themselves before they find betas willing to settle down from age 18-25? Some of us also have aging relatives we have to consider eventually, what should they do about this? What if they are attracted to non UMCbeta group who can’t afford/doesn’t want a SAHM, since holding out for one is alleged hypergamy?

    Me: Among the most conservative of parents, they say just that, children should be home-schooled by stay-at-home moms and daughters should not be encouraged to go to college. They should be raised to become housewives. If they are to work, they are to work at businesses they run from home as they take care of their families. To go to college and graduate school means they are taking spaces away from men who need to provide for their families. As a matter of fact, they should go directly from their family’s home to their husband’s.

    The funny thing is that in my extended family, I have a number of very conservative relatives whom I imagined to fit into this mold, or at least something similar, that they would send the daughters to conservative religious colleges and encourage them to get married while in college or a short time thereafter.

    No, sirree, not those folks. They are imagining similar to what Susan has been describing. Daughter should get married in her late 20s; she should attend the best college and pursue the most lucrative major. But it is not surprising. Mommy and daddy are both religious conservative, Ivy-league trained lawyers; mommy was a summer associate at the downtown law firm where daddy worked. They got married in their late 20s, within a year after her joining the firm as a junior associate (he was 2-3 years ahead of her, but about 2 or so years younger). When she had her first, she worked part time for a short period, but as Susan mentioned, it was too challenging and she quit–she has been a stay-at-home mom since then.

  • mr. wavevector

    <blockquote.
    The hypothetical we’re discussing here presumably involves a 180 on the part of the male, something that seems unlikely.

    But a 180 on the part of the female is common, like yours at #132!

    Susan Walsh in 1981: I do not intend to marry and have no desire for children. I plan a stellar career in International Finance.

    This statement is puzzling from an evolutionary perspective. You would think the reproductive instinct would be totally robust after a few billion years of evolution. But society has been remarkably effective in redirecting female energies from reproduction to economic achievement. There seems to be a bug in the reproductive instinct that society is exploiting for short term economic gain.

    As a consequence (and returning to the theme of the thread), the demand for ‘wife and mother’ seems to exceed the supply. In that context, statements like “it is immoral to have a full time dual income family” can be seen as a demand side strategy to lower the price and increase the supply of that commodity by penalizing alternatives.

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

      @mr. wavevector

      This statement is puzzling from an evolutionary perspective.

      But not from a psychological one. It was the equivalent of a sour grapes strategy. A 25 year-old woman heads off to business school, leaving behind no prospects for marriage and family. She knows that she is better at using her brain to solve problems than using her body to attract men. In 1981, a life trajectory of career achievement and independence seems far more likely than marriage.

      In that context, statements like “it is immoral to have a full time dual income family” can be seen as a demand side strategy to lower the price and increase the supply of that commodity by penalizing alternatives.

      Indeed.

  • JP

    @Mr. Wavevector:

    “This statement is puzzling from an evolutionary perspective. You would think the reproductive instinct would be totally robust after a few billion years of evolution. But society has been remarkably effective in redirecting female energies from reproduction to economic achievement. There seems to be a bug in the reproductive instinct that society is exploiting for short term economic gain.”

    There isn’t a *bug*.

    Evolution resulted in people.

    Now that people are here, *culture* is the one in the driver’s seat.

    Life (evolution) might trump matter, but mind (culture) trumps life (evolution).

  • JP

    @pwv:

    I think of college and law school as eight years of my life that I will never get back.

    What a waste of time.

    Except now I get to have nightmares about it regularly. Nothing like college PTSD.

  • Bells

    @ExNewYorker

    Well, one of the major features of current culture is how deeply feminism is embedded in everything. So it’s not surprising that the idea of a “controlling husband” would be so widespread and feared…this makes a marriage a contest to see who has hand, rather than a team effort with both sides working together and depending on each other

    It’s very sad to see that the negative effects of feminism have had such a strong hold over relationships. But I really don’t know what to do about that; I’m still trying to figure out my own dating life!

    @Ted D

    …I’m honestly asking, because I agree that fighting for “hand” is a sure recipe for disaster. So, why is it so prevalent? Where did men and women get the idea that it was even necessary to be “in control” of the relationship? Perhaps right around the time that men were removed as the default “leader” of their households? When we started telling young girls “you don’t need a man! Just work hard and you can support yourself without having to be led around by a husband!?…

    Somewhere men and women got the message that they are not on the same side and instead began viewing each other as a potential enemy.

    So what solutions do you have for us Ted D? If I could guarantee a perfect future married to an UMC man who was loving/caring/ thought I was hot/and would never leave me. Then I would be a STAHM in a heartbeat. I work because of necessity not because of desire. I do not want to break the glass ceiling; I just want to comfortably help support my family. And unfortunately I wasn’t alive to play a hand at deciding women’s liberation in the 1960s. Thus, the suggestion of forcing half the workforce away from the work environment is highly impossible. I really just don’t know what else to say.

    I can’t account for other women but I definitely do not want to be in competition with my SO. It sounds very tiring and would naturally breed a destructive relationship

  • ExNewYorker

    @JP
    “Can you flesh this out with some anecdotes?”

    Come now, you haven’t come across situations where a woman made it clear in some way her career came before anything else?

    One example happened when my mother was visiting (it was a trip planned before gf became gf). Well, I figured I’d introduce her to my finance gf, but she had an “emergency” at work (and yes, I told gf well in advance of this). This was part of pattern, it and it became clear that our relationship would always have these type of issues.

  • Bells

    oops! I just realized that I was not writing the stay at home acronym (SAHM) properly. my bad

  • JP

    “Come now, you haven’t come across situations where a woman made it clear in some way her career came before anything else?”

    Not really.

  • mr. wavevector

    @ JP,

    Life (evolution) might trump matter, but mind (culture) trumps life (evolution).

    Our behavior is certainly very flexible and can be directed in all sorts of directions by culture, but it is absurd to suggest that means that culture trumps evolution. Culture can only work withing the biological constraints that evolution has provided, much like software can only work within the hardware constraints of a computer system.

    (The fantasy of the primacy of culture over evolution is a form of anti-science promulgated by the Utopian left. They are to the left what Creationists are to the right.)

    So it is surprising that culture can so easily overrule the primary biological function, which is reproduction. It as if a piece of software could cause a computer to catch on fire and explode, like computers did in 1960′s sci-fi when presented with an unsolvable conundrum. But real computers are designed not to catch fire, no matter how intractable the problem they are given. One might think real organisms would have been “designed” by evolution not to be so easily talked out of reproducing.

  • ExNewYorker

    @JP
    “Not really.”

    Then you’ve been luckier than some of us :-)

  • JP

    @ExNewYorker:

    If it helps, I’ve never dated a woman with a career, being that I only dated college women.

  • Ted D

    Bells – “So what solutions do you have for us Ted D? If I could guarantee a perfect future married to an UMC man who was loving/caring/ thought I was hot/and would never leave me. Then I would be a STAHM in a heartbeat.”

    LOL well I’d like the same guarantee myself, but since I’m on my second marriage I’m pretty sure it just doesn’t exist.

    As to solutions? I’m not advocating that women should stay home and barefoot if that is what you have in mind from me. I’d say that a fair compromise would be a more realistic view of how things will play out long term. By that I mean, before I married for the second time, I made it clear that my “career” would take precedence if there was ever any conflict. So, if I’m offered a better position in another city, we’ll be moving. This makes sense since I make just a bit more than double what my wife does.

    And, for her part, she specifically chose a career in medical because she knew it would be very mobile. That is, she can get an MA job just about anywhere there are hospitals and people. She chose that career because she knew it would never be enough to provide for a family alone, but it WOULD be versatile enough to be put to good use anywhere she had to go.

    Planning on going it alone from the gate just seems like a bad idea to me unless you have no intentions of starting a family. Instead of choosing a career that will tether you to a location, something more generally useful might be a better bet. Of course, the flip side is such jobs probably don’t pay as much as a prestigious position in a law firm. But, what’s more important to you: a family or a career? If it’s family, then spending money on a high end degree just might be a bad idea.

    And honestly I can’t tell you what to do up in the UMC. By myself I would be LMC, and with my wife’s contribution we might just be skimming our way into the MC in terms of earning capacity. None of my children will get an ivy league degree, and I will be ecstatic if they can all manage a bachelor from one of our local universities. For us, UMC/Ivy league might as well be on a different planet.

    I suppose that makes all the difference though, right? I mean, when I tell my daughters to work hard and be self-sufficient, I’m only telling them that to fill in until they marry. (meaning they are without kids of course) Once they marry and have kids though, I’d say their chances of ever being completely self-sufficient are close to zero, as they aren’t likely to make enough on their own to support a family anyway. If they intend to have a family, my advice is to focus on putting their eggs in that basket and make it work, because plan B for them isn’t likely to be very satisfying. So that means not wasting time and going into debt for a career they won’t continue to work for anyway, and instead putting effort into some skill(s) they can use to simply make money, part or full time.

    My oldest just started school to be a RN. She can get accepted into a program that will pay for her degree (once she completes an associates) if she signs on for a couple years after the fact. RNs are in demand everywhere, and she can turn that into a number of jobs that could be part time IF she needs flexibility when kids arrive. To me, that seems a lot smarter than a law degree that will force her to choose between making money and raising her kids.

  • JP

    @MrWaveVector:

    ” Culture can only work withing the biological constraints that evolution has provided, much like software can only work within the hardware constraints of a computer system.”

    And life can only work within the physical constraints that fundamental physics has provided.

    I’m not saying that there are no boundary conditions (meaning biology constrains culture). What I’m saying is that Culture(Mind):Life as Life:Matter.

    Of course we can’t outside the bounds of biology. I’m not a utopian. Plants and animals work against gravity all the time. Plants grow up, not down, even though only life can effectively defy gravity, not asteroids, comets, and stars.

    But I’m pretty certain that I’ve seen religious communities arise that believed in no procreation.

    “Membership in the Shakers dwindled in the late 19th century for several reasons: people were attracted to cities and away from the farms; Shaker products could not compete with mass-produced products that became available at a much lower cost; and shakers could not have have children, so adoption was a major source of new members. This continued until orphanages were established and the states began to limit adoption by religious groups.”

    If culture didn’t trump life, then this couldn’t happen.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shakers

    The only living thing that can ever makes the decision to not procreate, when there are plenty of resources and no restraint on the population, is man.

    And that’s because culture trumps biology no matter how much you want to argue otherwise.

    All I’m saying is that people can choose to do anything as long as it is not prohibited by biology or physics (because they are the boundary conditions).

    And *not procreating* does not violate either biology or physics.

  • JP

    All I know is that I viewed being unrestricted as outside the bounds of permissible human behavior.

    So, being restricted was the only possible choice.

  • INTJ

    @ Susan

    For women who don’t share that view, it’s still pretty difficult to find stimulation in isolation. Perhaps this is an extravert thing – I felt intellectually stimulated both in the learning or conceiving stage, and in the implementation or building stage. That’s very difficult to find at home, which is why so many women do wish to work part-time.

    Yeah this is definitely an extravert thing.

  • INTJ

    @ Susan

    The solution, which the article mentions as a joke, is that we need a smaller workforce. If women all stayed home, the wealth gap would vanish. Not gonna happen.

    Whatever happens, I think calling someone’s choices about working “immoral” is problematic.

    Yes. We need more people staying at home. Obviously, that’s not going to happen on its own because it’s a collective action problem. The solution to a collective action problem of this nature is to impose moral standards of behavior. Hence why dual income families are immoral, especially if they could afford to live on one income.

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

      @INTJ

      The solution to a collective action problem of this nature is to impose moral standards of behavior. Hence why dual income families are immoral, especially if they could afford to live on one income.

      Good luck selling that concept. In a meritocracy, the most able people are employed, and they produce the most goods and services. If you want to regulate that market, either formally or via shaming, you’re redistributing wealth and lowering productivity at the same time.

  • JP

    @Susan:

    “But not from a psychological one. It was the equivalent of a sour grapes strategy. A 25 year-old woman heads off to business school, leaving behind no prospects for marriage and family. She knows that she is better at using her brain to solve problems than using her body to attract men. In 1981, a life trajectory of career achievement and independence seems far more likely than marriage.”

    At 25 I knew that I was better at using my brain to solve problems than to be a parent.

    I didn’t have any prospects for marriage or a family.

    However, I also realized that it was essentially obligatory to have children if I wanted the human project to continue, regardless of whether I really wanted to have a family.

    So I decided to act, and proceeded to get married and have a family.

  • JP

    @INTJ:

    We don’t need “more people staying at home”.

    We need a culture that’s more human-friendly.

    The system we’ve set up is pretty unpleasant and crazy-making.

  • JP

    @Susan:

    Productivity may be going to go back to it’s historical baseline of 0.2% whether we like it or not, per Jeremy Grantham.

    0% growth, here we come…

    https://www.gmo.com/America/CMSAttachmentDownload.aspx?target=JUBRxi51IIBHdipT8BL6r0bRQSQnMr60lpV%2fei6tQkeS4bbXWvXXaij3kB1L%2bh66PF9u5z5AEKb9lBLtkRYjHlwwMXOWTnDRdJ41NvwN02w%3d

  • SayWhaat

    One example happened when my mother was visiting (it was a trip planned before gf became gf). Well, I figured I’d introduce her to my finance gf, but she had an “emergency” at work (and yes, I told gf well in advance of this). This was part of pattern, it and it became clear that our relationship would always have these type of issues.

    I think that this sort of thing is contextual. When I was on my previous team, I was criticized for being a slacker because I didn’t come in on the weekends as often as the others, or stayed as long as they did. I was an efficient worker, so naturally that was penalized when I didn’t put in as much face time as the others.

    That bled into my dating life. I couldn’t afford to cultivate a bad rep on my unforgiving team, so when it came to dating and work, work became the priority. Thankfully my boyfriend (before he was my boyfriend) was very understanding of the difficult position I was in whenever I asked him if we could reschedule. I’m sure at the time I appeared totally and completely dedicated to my career.

    Despite that challenging work environment, when my grandfather had a stroke I immediately flew to India on unpaid leave to see him. Later in the year when I found out my dog was sickly, I dropped everything once more and flew back home, even though I had literally just arrived back from vacation. (I did that twice — first when he got sick, the next when he passed away.) I’m sure it reflected poorly, but I didn’t give a damn because this was a matter of family. And family always takes precedence over everything.

    Soo…don’t assume that she’s in love with her job if she’s constantly glued to her blackberry. Just saying.

  • SayWhaat

    By the way, I’ve since left that team and joined a new one that is way more understanding of their employees’ personal time. When I left, my boyfriend was happier than I was! And I just recently got promoted.

    Context is everything, it seems.

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

      @SayWhaat

      And I just recently got promoted.

      Congrats! That is excellent news – well done!

      As an aside, face time is the worst. Kids pulling all nighters and boasting they’ve got a clean shirt in a desk drawer just to give the impression of hard work and sacrifice. One mom recently boasted to me that her son left work as they were setting out the morning donuts. I thought that was a rather sad report of his accomplishment.

  • JP

    @SayWhaat:

    “Soo…don’t assume that she’s in love with her job if she’s constantly glued to her blackberry. Just saying.”

    I’ll agree with this.

    I work 7 days a week and I really, really, really don’t want to be working this much.

  • http://www.4stargazer.wordpress.com Anacaona

    Me: I’m not sure what you mean. Is it that you are very self-conscious regarding others’ criticism of your choices, and you are concerned about that, your ability to ignore the criticism?

    Let’s say that is not common for Americans to think that anything that doesn’t conform to what they think is ‘the truth’ is something because ‘us poor things don’t know any better’. I don’t want to make this a bashing the American Way so if you want to know details shoot me an email:hypatiaausten@gmail.com

    This statement is puzzling from an evolutionary perspective. You would think the reproductive instinct would be totally robust after a few billion years of evolution. But society has been remarkably effective in redirecting female energies from reproduction to economic achievement. There seems to be a bug in the reproductive instinct that society is exploiting for short term economic gain.

    Not really reproduction assured that we reproduce by concentrating on making sex rewarding and pleasurable and having all the other hindbrain mechanism to edge us to seek a mate after hitting puberty. The pill just screws the last stage of the process so is not that hard to convince people to delay and eventually forsake that last bit. Lokland predicts that since only the people with a strong drive to reproduction are having kids we probably going to have an entirely different mindset in a few generations. Like women at the peak of their reproductive years will be more focused on having babies than having careers and the culture will accommodate to that for sure, YMMV.

  • INTJ

    @ Susan

    Good luck selling that concept. In a meritocracy, the most able people are employed, and they produce the most goods and services. If you want to regulate that market, either formally or via shaming, you’re redistributing wealth and lowering productivity at the same time.

    I’m redistributing wealth from career-oriented people to family-oriented people. That’s a good thing. And I’m not lowering productivity. Quite the contrary. I’m increasing productivity, as the economy will produce the same amount of stuff even though people will be working a lot less.

    I take it you’re also against the 40 hour work-week legislation?

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

      I take it you’re also against the 40 hour work-week legislation?

      I’m not familiar with it. But it sounds a lot like Italy, and that’s not a good thing. Economically speaking.

  • JP

    @Anacaona:

    “Let’s say that is not common for Americans to think that anything that doesn’t conform to what they think is ‘the truth’ is something because ‘us poor things don’t know any better’. ”

    Huh?

    I thought that it *was* quintessentially American to think that way.

  • INTJ

    @ Bells

    hmm, although I often volunteer in altruistic activities to help people in need. I definitely do not support hindering the well-being of my family for a faceless demographic.

    To be sure, if everyone else starts working dual-income, then it might be necessary for my family to do so too, simply to keep up with housing/healthcare prices.

    But it is really cool to meet someone with such a high level of compassion.

    Well it isn’t compassion. It’s a sense of justice/rightness. I suppose that’s just compassion, but generalized and applied to abstract demographics rather than individual people. Compassion is a lot more burdensome, though. I mean, I can read about somebody getting killed halfway around the world and feel that it’s wrong and something should be done about it, but I don’t feel extremely depressed like I would if somebody got killed right in front of me.

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

      To be sure, if everyone else starts working dual-income, then it might be necessary for my family to do so too, simply to keep up with housing/healthcare prices.

      This is exactly what DI couples say now.

  • INTJ

    @ JP

    Huh?

    I thought that it *was* quintessentially American to think that way.

    I think Anacaona meant it’s “not uncommon”.

    And yes, you and Ana are right. It’s quite common for Americans to get offended by the slightest criticism of “American” viewpoints. Heck, I can’t help but think that Susan’s complaint about me being an arrogant brahmin was an example of this type of thinking.

  • mr. wavevector

    @JP,

    And *not procreating* does not violate either biology or physics.

    I’m not arguing that it does. If you read what I wrote, it was not that it’s impossible for culture to curtail reproduction, merely that I am surprised it is so easy to do so. We have a culture where a lot of women who say they wanted to have kids end up surprised that they never did, and many others convinced that they never want kids who don’t. How does that happen? Here are a few ideas:

    Susan suggests a sour grapes rationalization. That can be generalized if society makes it difficult and uncomfortable to find a mate, where most people will end up feeling sour about the mating process. Many will choose to withdraw defensively in this situation.

    The feminist who wrote at the GMP linked above suggests another technique – make women hate and fear men and see them as adversaries. Make women distrust men and believe that they are unreliable and can’t be depended on too. That cuts way back on the baby making. It’s even more effective when men return the favor.

    Another technique is to replace mating as a goal with a prerequisite to mating. One prerequisite that I think women feel strongly is the need to secure material and social resources. That need used to be channeled into finding a man. Now it’s channeled into a career, followed by material acquisition and social climbing. The acquisition of material and social resources become the end to itself and the mating never happens.

    Clearly all three of these things are going on around us. There are probably many more techniques to suppress the reproductive instinct being cultivated by society today.

  • JP

    @INTJ:

    “Heck, I can’t help but think that Susan’s complaint about me being an arrogant brahmin was an example of this type of thinking.”

    Well, Americans *do* want to destroy the Indian caste system because we don’t like it.

  • JP

    @Mr. WaveVector:

    “If you read what I wrote, it was not that it’s impossible for culture to curtail reproduction, merely that I am surprised it is so easy to do so.”

    Why don’t you agree that culture trumps biology, then?

    It’s clearly able to trump biology since one feature of life is reproduction.

    There’s no utopianism here.

    Simply that if it’s not restricted by biology or physics, the you can do it.

  • mr. wavevector

    @ Anacaona,

    The pill just screws the last stage of the process so is not that hard to convince people to delay and eventually forsake that last bit.

    The fertility rate of U.S. women has been declining steadily since 1800. There is something much bigger going on than the pill.

  • JP

    @INTJ:

    I’m waiting to see if American decides that it doesn’t like China.

    So far, that hasn’t happened.

    Hopefully, we keep it that way.

  • http://www.4stargazer.wordpress.com Anacaona

    I think Anacaona meant it’s “not uncommon”.</i.

    Yep that is what I meant, is hard to type with one hand. The other hand is on Baby while breastfeeding.

  • Russ in Texas

    The problem with all of these mechanical market-based equations is that they’re deeply flawed. Not necessarily because they’re fallacious in and of themselves, but because they’re predicated upon a fundamental pretense of knowledge regarding the actual SMV/MMV of the man or woman involved in the hunt for love.

    Love is an emergent phenomenon. I.e., it arises not from the man and woman (assuming straight for discourse, b/c the vocab is simpler to type), but from the interactions between the man and the woman.

    This shocks nobody. Take the same man, and the same woman, and on different days and different moods, they ignore each other, they hate each other, or they fall madly in love with each other. No way to predict it; you can merely describe the likelihood of something continuing based on the quality of the interaction. Otherwise you get the famous dating phenomenon where two people have interests in everything except each other. If the passion of the interactions is high enough and in the right vector, it turns into love.

    Like other emergent phenomena, it is also subject to hysteresis, and when these interactions reach a certain level, the passions can develop systems which lower the overall affection below its originating point.

    This, again, surprises nobody. Nobody on earth hates a man or woman like the person who has been involved in a bad divorce of catastrophic love-affair with that person — the very process that initially created love then turns into a system which drives the total system affection (mis-correllated with “value” by Keynesian Love Analysts) down into the bedrock.

    Similarly, mis-allocation of affection within a ONS or other infatuation-based attempt to create love frequently results in a love bubble, which can swell to enormous heights before it pops. But afterwards, the amount of love in the system is effectively zero, and while some people have demonstrated a history of continuously reinflating their supposed love-bubble, this is a poor substitute for actual spontaneously arising and self-sustaining love.

    /All entendres intentional. Sorry ’bout that.

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

      @Russ

      Wow, lots of great insight there, a thorough dissection of the shortcomings of sexual economics, which omits the vagaries of human behavior.

  • JP

    @Mr WaveVector:

    “The fertility rate of U.S. women has been declining steadily since 1800. There is something much bigger going on than the pill.”

    Yes, it’s called the Enlightenment, Modernity, and Post Modernism.

    Plus, the U.S. TFR hit a trough in 1976 in the 1.7′s. It only dipped below replacement again now because of the recession.

    The real demographic crisis is in parts of the Islamic World, where fertility is truly crashing and where they don’t really have the industrial production of a Japan or a Korea.

    Iran, for example has a TFR of 1.4 (from 7 in the 1950′s!).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Iran

    Saudi Arabia has gone from 7.14 to just above 3 and is still dropping.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Saudi_Arabia

  • ExNewYorker

    @SayWhaat
    “Soo…don’t assume that she’s in love with her job if she’s constantly glued to her blackberry. Just saying.”

    Not sure how your example is at odds with my example. You did exactly as I would imagine someone who put priority of family over job would do. You actually put the other thing in front of the job in terms of priority. So, I think we agree, for the most, except for that last statement, since I didn’t assume, rather I noted the pattern of behavior and actual actions (which belied the actual words) :-)

  • JP

    @Russ:

    “The problem with all of these mechanical market-based equations is that they’re deeply flawed. Not necessarily because they’re fallacious in and of themselves, but because they’re predicated upon a fundamental pretense of knowledge regarding the actual SMV/MMV of the man or woman involved in the hunt for love.

    Love is an emergent phenomenon. I.e., it arises not from the man and woman (assuming straight for discourse, b/c the vocab is simpler to type), but from the interactions between the man and the woman.”

    ^^^^^This!

  • J

    @wave #151

    It’s a disgusting metaphor, but I love the way you elaborated on it. Like DH and Bob Heinlein, you obviously prefer to do business with an “old, established firm.”

  • J

    @Ana

    Glad you’re workng on it. Seriously, what you do with your kid and your life is your business. It’s tremendously rude for anyone to question your mothering. (And, if you guys have ever noticed, that’s one of the few things that sets me off.)

  • pvw

    JP February 7, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    @pwv:

    I think of college and law school as eight years of my life that I will never get back.

    What a waste of time.

    Except now I get to have nightmares about it regularly. Nothing like college PTSD.

    Me: Interesting; all the lawyers I know (mostly women) don’t seem to think about law school much. It was a hoop to go through; what they are doing now is more interesting, whether it is law practice, teaching, or serving in a judicial capacity. If they were in an overly-demanding corporate law firm, they left pretty early.

    All of them rely on their training in some fashion, whether it is through less demanding teaching/government employment/public service work/the occasional case they take on–this last group, the women are primarily stay-at-home moms.

    They see their legal background as aiding in support of their families and communities, ie., helping their husband’s endeavors, advocating on behalf of their children, or intensive pro bono work through our congregation or the greater diocese of which we are a part.

  • SayWhaat

    Not sure how your example is at odds with my example. You did exactly as I would imagine someone who put priority of family over job would do. You actually put the other thing in front of the job in terms of priority.

    Right, but it didn’t look that way to the guys I was dating. It would have been very easy to assume I placed my career ahead of everything, given how I jumped every time I thought I heard my blackberry buzz.

  • mr. wavevector

    @ JP,

    Yes, it’s called the Enlightenment, Modernity, and Post Modernism.

    Plus, the U.S. TFR hit a trough in 1976 in the 1.7′s. It only dipped below replacement again now because of the recession.

    Yes, certainly modernity is a (the?) driving force. A society that is focused on autonomy, self-fulfillment and consumption finds the demands of child rearing unbearably onerous.

    The fertility rate of UMC women is much lower than the U.S average – almost as low as China:

    Here in America, white, college-educated women—a good proxy for the middle class—have a fertility rate of 1.6. America has its very own one-child policy. And we have chosen it for ourselves.

    I am surprised at the figures from the Islamic world you referenced, as those cultures are often depicted as exceedingly patriarchal, conservative, and resistant to modernity.

  • JP

    @Susan:

    “I’m not familiar with it. But it sounds a lot like Italy, and that’s not a good thing. Economically speaking.”

    Unemployment is high because too many people are taking up too much of the work.

    There is only a limited amount of work that needs to be done.

    In fact, for every lawyer billing 80 hours a week, a job is being taken from an unemployed lawyer.

  • Madelena

    @mr. wave

    I am surprised at the figures from the Islamic world you referenced, as those cultures are often depicted as exceedingly patriarchal, conservative, and resistant to modernity.

    My response:
    The biggest factor in declining birth rates in the Middle East is the education of women. More women than men get higher education. In Iran at least 60% of college students are female (since 2001). In Saudi Arbia, women are 58% of college students. The labour force participation is dismal however, at least for Saudi Arabia. Only 14% and most of those are in the education sector.
    Last year, the Iranian theocratic government deliberated over banning women from areas of studies like engineering, nuclear physics and computer science, to English literature, archaeology and business. They see a correlation between education and decreasing number of children born per women and are seeking to put the genie back in the bottle. Of course, there is a lot of resistance to that idea but the long term effects are yet to be seen.

  • JP

    @Mr. WaveVector:

    I’m just chock full of surprises.

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    @ Susan

    Good luck selling that concept. In a meritocracy, the most able people are employed, and they produce the most goods and services. If you want to regulate that market, either formally or via shaming, you’re redistributing wealth and lowering productivity at the same time.

    What kind of “productivity” are we reducing and what kind of productivity are we increasing?

    Household production is also production, even if it isn’t measured in GDP.

    To the women-folk, let me relate a story. Actually, I wanted to share this yesterday, but I deleted the post before I posted it:

    When I was in a 6th, this tall, lanky kid was the victim of a systemic bullying by essentially the entire grade. I had no idea why or for what reason, but earlier in the year I was the victim of the same thing, so I was sympathetic towards him. At one point I was assaulted by several students carrying large pieces of wood, the school was uninterested in the “situation.”

    This poor kid was being tormented one recess, while a teacher sat back, watching the whole thing, laughing. Literally. Laughing. I stared at him, without saying a word…not angry…just…confused. Isn’t this wrong?

    Eventually some of the female students started pushing this poor bullied kid around. I had enough, I ran over to help him. I had no idea what I was going to do, because I was one kid, and he had literally 40 kids swarming in on him.

    At this point, as I started sprinting across the field, the teacher FINALLY intervened and put a stop to the whole thing.

    The reason men-folk prefer women-folk to be SAHM’s, at least part-time, is because you have the best interests of our children at heart, in a way no one else does.

  • http://happycrow.wordpress.com Russ in Texas

    Thanks. I’m going to develop it into a full-on post this weekend once I find snarky enough pictures and cover a few more angles. And find a few of the more ridiculous examples to puncture (because I’m a poohead that way).

  • mr. wavevector

    @Madelena,

    The biggest factor in declining birth rates in the Middle East is the education of women.

    That’s modernity again. Education is the primary means of inculcating the modern world view, which emphasizes individuality, autonomy and self fulfillment.

    I’m not criticizing those things, mind you. But I’m fascinated by the way introducing these values to a traditional culture can change countless millenia of human behavior in a matter of decades.

  • Madelena

    @mr. wavevector

    I think the mullahs realize that as well which is why there are attempts to roll back progress and reduce the number of women getting an education.

    Interestingly enough, the patriarichal hierarchy that wants to keep wives indoors really wants to see their daughters get an education and do well.

  • http://www.4stargazer.wordpress.com Anacaona

    Glad you’re workng on it. Seriously, what you do with your kid and your life is your business. It’s tremendously rude for anyone to question your mothering. (And, if you guys have ever noticed, that’s one of the few things that sets me off.)

    Oh but you know women. They won’t judge they look you down, smile that tiny condescending smile and try to be ‘supportive’. Hard to fight an invisible enemy.

  • Bells

    @Ted D

    As to solutions? I’m not advocating that women should stay home and barefoot if that is what you have in mind from me

    -Nope I was thinking no such thing. That would unfairly reduce the quality of the argument.

    …before I married for the second time, I made it clear that my “career” would take precedence if there was ever any conflict. So, if I’m offered a better position in another city, we’ll be moving. This makes sense since I make just a bit more than double what my wife does.
    Instead of choosing a career that will tether you to a location, something more generally useful might be a better bet…But, what’s more important to you: a family or a career? If it’s family, then spending money on a high end degree just might be a bad idea

    That’s fair to desire for your SO to be able to move freely with you.

    And honestly I can’t tell you what to do up in the UMC. By myself I would be LMC, and with my wife’s contribution we might just be skimming our way into the MC in terms of earning capacity…

    I mean, when I tell my daughters to work hard and be self-sufficient, I’m only telling them that to fill in until they marry. (meaning they are without kids of course) Once they marry and have kids though, I’d say their chances of ever being completely self-sufficient are close to zero, as they aren’t likely to make enough on their own to support a family anyway. If they intend to have a family, my advice is to focus on putting their eggs in that basket and make it work…

    Well from my limited perspective, I guess your solutions make sense for a LMC woman. But I’m not sure it sufficiently crosses the line to prove feasible for all MC+ families.

  • JP

    @Bells:

    “Well from my limited perspective, I guess your solutions make sense for a LMC woman. But I’m not sure it sufficiently crosses the line to prove feasible for all MC+ families.”

    I think that my wife wants my daughter to be a dermatologist.

    I also think that being a dermatologist in this day and age means that you move directly to the top of the UMC with just your income.

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

      I also think that being a dermatologist in this day and age means that you move directly to the top of the UMC with just your income.

      Medical students today mostly want the ROAD specialties, for income and lifestyle:

      Radiation
      Orthopedics
      Anesthesiology
      Dermatology

  • JP

    @Madelea:

    “Interestingly enough, the patriarichal hierarchy that wants to keep wives indoors really wants to see their daughters get an education and do well.”

    Yeah, because they love their daughters and want them to be happy.

    Amazing, isn’t it?

  • SayWhaat

    And I just recently got promoted.

    Congrats! That is excellent news – well done!

    Thanks! :)

    As an aside, face time is the worst. Kids pulling all nighters and boasting they’ve got a clean shirt in a desk drawer just to give the impression of hard work and sacrifice. One mom recently boasted to me that her son left work as they were setting out the morning donuts. I thought that was a rather sad report of his accomplishment.

    “Face time” is a holdover from the industrial workplace. Efficiency and productivity actually *decrease* the more hours you put in to a desk job. That’s what pissed me off the most, the fact that efficiency was penalized and inefficiency was systematically rewarded. That needs to change.

  • JP

    @Susan:

    Well, you start at $300,000 in dermatology and only have to work with patients four days a week.

  • JP

    @SayWhaat:

    ““Face time” is a holdover from the industrial workplace. Efficiency and productivity actually *decrease* the more hours you put in to a desk job. That’s what pissed me off the most, the fact that efficiency was penalized and inefficiency was systematically rewarded.”

    In BigLaw, the more you bill, the more you make, so from the law firm’s perspective, the profitability increases the more hours you work.

    Nothing like billing out a first year associate at $250-$300 per hour at 2400 hours a year.

  • Bells

    Overall I do think it’s unfair to screen in preference for women who only desire to be SAHM. You never know which type of women will fall through your filter. But that’s each individual’s prerogative. I’m not perfectly compatible to every man; though I’d like to think that I have strong nurturing instincts. Many strangers have quickly pointed out this characteristic after observing my mannerisms and interactions with my environment. It’s actually kind of disconcerting to be read so easily.

  • Sai

    @SayWhaat
    Congratulations!

    Re: the 75%
    Let’s see. (God forbid) I get fired and am not independently wealthy. I can
    A. Remain indoors with lights, plumbing, food and a way to pay for more of these things (I guess I would feel slightly guilty/worried for freeloading)
    B. Leave, with no way of paying for any of those things ‘cuz I just got fired
    HMMMMMM

    “In other words, too bad the old courting model is gone. Now, nobody knows what the fuck the other person wants.”

    +1
    Honesty is more important than ever. Make sure you’ll be getting a good provider/mom/lover/whatever you want most. Or,
    “We need to filter a hell of a lot harder when we invest.”

    @mr. wavevector
    I’m glad you have a good wife and don’t see the need to get rid of her.

    (For all those who are good wives/mothers no matter where you are from or what you do: http://i2.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/original/000/159/172/tumblr_lo1qh68nVL1qzgmxb.gif )

    “It sounds as though women want the option but not obligation to become SAHMs, just as they want dominant alpha preselected-but-non-promiscuous traditional dating-but-pro-feminist Nice Guy high-income/SMV/MMV vampire-werewolf-S&M dark lover badasses.”

    http://media.247sports.com/Uploads/Boards/878/3878/55838.jpg

    “Susan, you must love the following McSweeney’s article then: http://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/its-not-you-its-quantitative-cost-benefit-analysis

    I… could actually see myself using something like this. LIVE LONG AND PROSPER

    “So, if we follow the money in the “war of the sexes” issue, where does it lead? Who profits the most from men and women viewing each other as the enemy? I don’t know the answer, but I will surely be chewing on it for awhile.”

    I’ve heard it was commies trying to ruin things for the ‘cursed capitalists’. I’m not even joking. Maybe it really was them. Darn reds.

  • pvw

    @ mr. wavevector #151, re. “the buyer isn’t buying anything, but rather financing a depreciating asset for a long term:”

    “Let me consider my 20 year marriage in these utilitarian terms…….”

    Me: I read your soliloquy to Mr. PVW, and he thought it was too funny for words. I think it would be perfect as part of a live comedy show–a round of applause with wolf whistling and foot stomping would be likely to follow:

    “Now I hear these stories about guys who see their wives as ‘depreciating assets.’ Maybe I live on another planet or I’m just one helluva lucky SOB, but that is not what I’ve got over here:” quote the soliloquy you drafted.

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

      @pvw

      “Now I hear these stories about guys who see their wives as ‘depreciating assets.’ Maybe I live on another planet or I’m just one helluva lucky SOB, but that is not what I’ve got over here:”

      It hadn’t occurred to me but it’s possible men with this attitude are married to women who have aged very poorly or otherwise seen a very rapid decline in SMV. I’ve heard many men say that when they look at their wives of many years, they see the woman she was when they met. I know I do this with my husband – on rare occasions I will look at him very objectively and feel quite surprised that he has aged 30 years. Most of the time I see the 28 year-old version. Maybe men who are stuck with a clunker are unable to do that, IDK.

  • H

    I’ve been reading some of the archives on here. But even with the tips on how to find a quality guy, it all sounds so disheartening. It seems like it mostly just comes down to luck – you happen to meet someone who shares the same values and wants a LTR or to get married eventually. If you aren’t that lucky, what is a woman supposed to do if she doesn’t want to sleep around or take a gamble by sleeping with a boyfriend so he doesn’t go elsewhere? People often tell you “if he respects you enough he’ll wait”. I call BS. So again, is the only real option to risk it and sleep with him after a time, even though he could leave you later on? Then you’ve accumulated one more sex partner and nothing to show for it.

    I feel like I should just give up now and start collecting cats :(

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

      @H

      It’s not necessary or wise to rely on luck. You need to:

      1. Get out and meet as many people as you can, regularly.
      2. Filter out any and all guys with red flags or who don’t clearly express interest in getting to know you better and spend non-sexual time with you.
      3. Determine whether a guy is open to a relationship.
      4. Agree on exclusivity.
      5. Have sex.

      That reduces your risk by about 80%, IMO.

  • INTJ

    @ Anacaona

    Yep that is what I meant, is hard to type with one hand. The other hand is on Baby while breastfeeding.

    That just sounds so badass!

  • SayWhaat

    In BigLaw, the more you bill, the more you make, so from the law firm’s perspective, the profitability increases the more hours you work.

    Nothing like billing out a first year associate at $250-$300 per hour at 2400 hours a year.

    Oh, I am well aware. ;)

    I do think billable hours needs to go. It is simply not suitable for the work that gets done today. Pay for the product, not the effort involved.

  • SayWhaat

    @ H:

    The key is to emotionally escalate. You know how guys rationalize the fact that they’re dating a slutty woman after the fact? That can occur while dating you on your sexual timeline as well. You should emotionally escalate so that he gets emotionally involved with YOU, to the point where he won’t think much about your sexual history or lack thereof. In another age they called this using your “feminine wiles.”

  • Richard Aubrey

    Behavioral/sexual economics reminds me of another econonmic issue, a joke.
    Free market economist walking along the street with his young son.
    “Dad, there’s a fifty dollar bill on the street!”
    “Son,” says the economist laughing condescendingly, “son, if that were a fifty dollar bill, somebody would have picked it up.”

    People behave according to their view of what is in their best interest(s) may be.
    Not what somebody else thinks of as their best interest(s). Unfortunately, the latter is all the observer/third party has to go on.
    Sometimes the two don’t match.
    Exaggerated cases are called insanity, but as the old joke goes, insanity is not a lack of logic, but of flawed premises.
    Sometimes we think people are acting strangely because we don’t see some of their circumstances: Somebody walking down the street with an odd gait. Why would he do that? He has a pebble in his shoe. That’s simple. Carrying a heavy coat in summer? Stupid, right? Going to deliver it to a homeless shelter.
    When we substitute perceptions for the foregoing physical issues, we may find there’s no conceivable reason for the guy to do whatever he’s doing, until we figure out what the perceptions are…which is difficult in the individual case and dangerous for people making generalizations unless the generalizer’s name is Hari Seldon.
    Used t0 be the college departments of psychology and philosophy were not separate, and it wasn’t just to save on overpaid deans.

  • INTJ

    @ Richard Aubrey

    And even when the generalizer’s name is Hari Seldon, the Mule can throw off the generalization.

  • Richard Aubrey

    INTJ.
    Even the Mule wasn’t enough of a disturber to cause anyone to recheck methodology.
    You’re going to have a galactic war and stuff, but that doesn’t mean there was anything wrong with the methodology. The grants certainly wouldn’t stop.
    As for my earlier descriptions of the three 10 women who went for cosmic losers, what we thought was meaningless. They had their filters, their perceptions, their preconceptions. Yeah, we were right–speaking of friends, family, and acquaintances, but that meant nothing.
    I once tried to intervene in a situation where the woman was living with a manipulative scam artist. Trying to discuss the situation was like shooting BBs at a basketball. Did Not Penetrate. Always was an answer, even if solidly based on NUTTY PREMISES. Demonstrably false, historically false in the relationship to that point assertions had the weight of glaciers–stretched metaphor but the point was that the perception of reality was beyond correction despite agreed and acknowledged failures.
    Now, she could have been doing a masterful job of putting us off by BS arguing, but that leaves the question of what she was not discussing. Or she may have believed what she was saying.
    No way to apply social or sexual economics to the situation, or many others.

  • http://www.4stargazer.wordpress.com Anacaona

    @Rollo
    I usually don’t address you but I think this one is good to say out loud.
    Do your wife knows you see her like this? That every day the sex is less good, her looks fade, the little things you share with her subtract a bit of enjoyment each time you do it…Essentially that everyday you fall out of love with her a little bit more?
    I don’t care much about the unattached players (if you sleep with a stranger I feel no pity for the outcome male or female, do your research first) but this is your wife, mother of your children.
    If you really see her as something that is losing value over time then you are as damaging to the sacred bond of marriage as a cheater and a frivolous divorce. To use just one example regardless if you have offspring this is crucial.
    Kids learn by example if everyday their parents are losing what they brought them together do you think they will believe in love? And not even romantic love but love in general even from their parents? Do you think they will look fondly to coming back home when they grow up to see two people drafting apart even further? Do you think they won’t learn to see their parents as losing value too?
    This is the worst thing you had ever said. I really hope all this is just you playing tough guy to get some validation at the net and at home you love and cherish your wife. I rather prefer you a liar than a home-wrecker, YMMV.

  • pvw

    @Susan: It hadn’t occurred to me but it’s possible men with this attitude are married to women who have aged very poorly or otherwise seen a very rapid decline in SMV. Maybe men who are stuck with a clunker are unable to do that, IDK.

    Me: I think it might be a combination of things For example, if the looks have gone beyond the mere changing of looks that come with aging, and the rest of the relationship quality has gone down as well, it makes it much easier for the husband to become critical and see his wife as a “depreciating asset”.

    Thus, he experiences the appeal of finding a younger woman with better looks and whose interactions might mirror what he remembered having with the wife when they were younger, ie., dating, and before the children arrived, etc.

    The ideal of course, is to keep up both the quality of the relationship and the looks, notwithstanding things which just can’t be changed–the natural aging process.

  • J

    Yeah, because there is NO WAY to use your mind while you are at home taking care of kids. *rolls eyes*

    FWIW, Ted. Kids do make you stupid, at least for a while. It’s all the discussions about poo, I think.

    Kids are fun though.

  • J

    One mom recently boasted to me that her son left work as they were setting out the morning donuts. I thought that was a rather sad report of his accomplishment.

    Jeez. Remember when people used to work so they could BETTER lives?

    In the meantime, a good chunk of the global workforce still takes an afternoon nap. Nice work, if you can get it.

  • JP

    @J:

    “Jeez. Remember when people used to work so they could BETTER lives?”

    I’m pretty sure that most people work to avoid starvation and homelessness.

  • J

    Yeah, that’s true, JP. I just recall a time when we were all told that if we worked hard, we’d better ourselves and have better lives. That was the American Dream. We’ve now reached a point of diminishing returns.

  • J

    Oh but you know women. They won’t judge they look you down, smile that tiny condescending smile and try to be ‘supportive’. Hard to fight an invisible enemy

    That stuff doesn’t bother me. I just flash this sickening little smile that says, “Nice try, but I’m on to you. Go peddle that passive-aggressive BS elsewhere.” It drives them crazy, knowing that you don’t care.

  • JP

    @J:

    “Yeah, that’s true, JP. I just recall a time when we were all told that if we worked hard, we’d better ourselves and have better lives”

    I’m not even sure what “better ourselves”and “have better lives” means.

    The standard American Dream / Suburbia is pretty dull and boring, to tell you the truth.

  • J

    There is something much bigger going on than the pill.

    It’s technology, first industrialization and then the information age. Kids used to be an economic asset; now they are an economic liability. People don’t ask themselves how many kids they want; they ask how many they can afford.

  • http://www.4stargazer.wordpress.com Anacaona

    That just sounds so badass!

    Heh thanks. I plan to place in my resume Skills: Enhanced dexterity. :D

    That stuff doesn’t bother me. I just flash this sickening little smile that says, “Nice try, but I’m on to you. Go peddle that passive-aggressive BS elsewhere.” It drives them crazy, knowing that you don’t care.

    Heh that is so cool. I might try to practice that. Thanks for the tip. :)

  • Ion

    pvw

    “Among the most conservative of parents, they say just that, children should be home-schooled by stay-at-home moms and daughters should not be encouraged to go to college. They should be raised to become housewives. ”

    Interesting. See, it’s one thing when society confirms and appreciates these values as a whole. It’s quite another for your small group of relatives to encourage this, and you’re the oddball. Same re monogamy and men. When men in general are required to adopt conservative values, they do. When many men aren’t monogamous, and being monogamous isn’t required for familial/social support, they have “committed issues”, “aren’t ready to settle down”, “can’t find the one“, etc.,

    As a side note, a hijab wearing muslim woman I met in a class and I were talking about religion. I know I’m pretty agnostic…but I’m respectful of everyone’s personal beliefs generally, and I told her that I was specifically impressed with an acquaintance’s husband who was a progressive muslim, intellectual, really stand up guy. He just believed in Allah, but didn’t attend mosque and questioned a lot of muslim rules (didn’t even think his wife/girlfriends should wear hijab). She said “I feel sorry for your friend being married to this guy”. She said that because there was no strong moral orthodox values holding him to rules and customs, he would take and reject views when he saw fit. Turned out, she knew several liberal muslims who wanted their wives to work while they took on multiple women, wanted their wives to attend mosque while they watched football, pointed to scriptures only about womens unwavering obedience, etc.,

    It seems like it’s always better to be conservative when there’s no room for hypocrisy, and strict unchallenged moral beliefs are the guide. And it has to be a part of the culture, it looks like. So I wonder in your story, how well does this go over with daughters? I assume the rebellion rate is pretty high. Or “jesus helped” them give up fornication around the age they want to marry. Or for men, “god is working on their heart”, as they consciously make the effort to hook up many times before settling down.

  • JP

    @Ion:

    “He just believed in Allah, but didn’t attend mosque and questioned a lot of muslim rules (didn’t even think his wife/girlfriends should wear hijab). She said “I feel sorry for your friend being married to this guy”. She said that because there was no strong moral orthodox values holding him to rules and customs, he would take and reject views when he saw fit.”

    And now we find the problem with moral values.

    You have a fixed set of rules, say orthodox Muslim (whatever that is), which, for argument’s sake are 65% positive/35% negative. (This is just for purposes of argument).

    Naturally, you want to get as close to 100% positive as possible.

    So, you liberalize, which means that you unlock your worldview and shuffle things around.

    And ultimately, you pick and choose what you feel like doing, which ends up being worse more than half the time because at least the 65% that was positive was there for a reason.

    Most people don’t think their own thoughts, which means that not only are they not thinking their own thoughts, but they aren’t even aware of the source of the thoughts they are thinking.

    I can’t be orthodox anything because I really dislike what I perceive to be the errors, however I am even less able to be “anything goes” because I know popular culture is basically idiotic.

  • Ion

    “Most people don’t think their own thoughts, which means that not only are they not thinking their own thoughts, but they aren’t even aware of the source of the thoughts they are thinking.”

    Yeah, def +1.

    “And ultimately, you pick and choose what you feel like doing, which ends up being worse more than half the time because at least the 65% that was positive was there for a reason.”

    Yep. The 35% “negative” means anything you do NOT want to abide by, and the 65% positive = things that are reasonably comfortable to live with. So you have a guy who’s shacking up with his girlfriend and watching lesbian porn, hating gay men for “sinning”. Or you have a girl who is chasing an alpha on a motorcycle because Jesus told her to rescue him. Or a moderate Christian male who has hooked up plenty, going to church to find a wife who hasn’t. If you want a Christian nation that abides by strong moral beliefs, it has to be a big part of the culture, or else people will be hypocrites. Many people will choose “the world”, if the world will allow them to; many well-meaning Christians will hook up if the church is small compared to the culture that allows them to.

    What’s going on in pop culture (whether myths or not) is just as important to understand as anything else. It’s fine to read the bible, but no harm ever came from watching “Consuming Kids” to see what you’re up against.

  • http://www.4stargazer.wordpress.com Anacaona

    @Ion and @JP

    Great points. Totally true the whole point was to have ONE set of rules that everyone could adhere too. Not a buffet of rules that people could pick and choose depending on their mood, or worse they could decide on others to maximize their gains. They probably were born out of years of studying human nature and discovering the things we had seen in our lives.

  • Fifth Season

    Susan @150:

    I’m not sure it’s necessarily low-EQ that’s Rollo’s problem; you’ve written before that people like Rollo are traumatized by their prior intimate relationships having gone sour, so it’s not difficult for that kind of people to believe that others will, or will seek to, hurt them in much the same way as before. This is an understandably defensive response engendered by mental trauma, but it is unfair to those whose character and actions speak otherwise.

    According to these manosphere bloggers, women use and discard men with less time and less of a care than one would drop and stomp on a cigarette butt before lighting up another (witness Rollo’s popular “Hypergamy doesn’t care” post). Women in this worldview also are only capable of seeing men as means (as sperm donors, or as meal tickets, or as alimony/child support sources, or as stepping stones to better models, etc.) rather than ends-in-themselves, so the only way to not get burned is to not marry and keep “spinning plates” (AKA form a “soft harem”), so as to retain the ability to jettison any of the women being “spun” when they prove untenable, or when they catch on to being used, or when they make you “gat no heat” (1 Kings 1).

    It seems to me like some of these bloggers believe that a giving marriage or other mutually-and-monogamously-committed intimate LTR between a man and a woman, where there is no deceit and both give of themselves to each other freely and often (emotionally, mentally, physically, and sexually) is a “unicorn” (something you hear about but will never believe exists)–for these people, there is only using women, or being used by women. We need more posts like mr. wavevector’s (@151) in the “game-using manosphere,” to combat that impression.

    There are things infinitely more precious to be found in a well-maintained and loving marriage than all the “Rank 10″ hot babes, viagra, and emotion-/connection-/consequences-free sex in the world (like some of these manosphere blogs appear to be recommending to men). No one likes to be viewed as a short cigarette, fit only to be stubbed out or thrown away along with the rest of its ash in the wind, or if you prefer, a used condom fit only to be tied off and thrown in the trash.

    It’s too easy to believe that just because no one will love, cherish, and honestly commit to you in an LTR, means that such a thing is impossible to achieve for anyone.

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

      @The Fifth Season

      This is an understandably defensive response engendered by mental trauma, but it is unfair to those whose character and actions speak otherwise.

      It’s also a very, very unfortunate thing to find in someone advising others on relationships!

      It seems to me like some of these bloggers believe that a giving marriage or other mutually-and-monogamously-committed intimate LTR between a man and a woman, where there is no deceit and both give of themselves to each other freely and often (emotionally, mentally, physically, and sexually) is a “unicorn” (something you hear about but will never believe exists)–for these people, there is only using women, or being used by women. We need more posts like mr. wavevector’s (@151) in the “game-using manosphere,” to combat that impression.

      +1 Amen

      It’s too easy to believe that just because no one will love, cherish, and honestly commit to you in an LTR, means that such a thing is impossible to achieve for anyone.

      When what is actually required is an honest look in the mirror. For whatever reason, people render themselves literally unlovable, but continue to believe the fault lies with everyone else. Considering that one quick look around any event where couples congregate would reveal loving relationships between men and women, it’s clear that propping up this self-delusion must take considerable mental gymnastics, i.e. hamsterwheeling.

  • JP

    “I’m not sure it’s necessarily low-EQ that’s Rollo’s problem; you’ve written before that people like Rollo are traumatized by their prior intimate relationships having gone sour, so it’s not difficult for that kind of people to believe that others will, or will seek to, hurt them in much the same way as before. This is an understandably defensive response engendered by mental trauma, but it is unfair to those whose character and actions speak otherwise.”

    In romantic situations, I’ve generally been the traumator, rather than the traumatee.

    All my personal traumas were essentially self-traumatising, so I have only myself to blame.

    Although I probably suffer from low-EQ, the collateral damage from this tends to be other people, rather than me.

  • Iggles

    @ Ion:

    So you have a guy who’s shacking up with his girlfriend and watching lesbian porn, hating gay men for “sinning”. Or you have a girl who is chasing an alpha on a motorcycle because Jesus told her to rescue him. Or a moderate Christian male who has hooked up plenty, going to church to find a wife who hasn’t. If you want a Christian nation that abides by strong moral beliefs, it has to be a big part of the culture, or else people will be hypocrites.

    + 1000

    I never thought about it, but all these examples are spot on for why follwing “part” of a religion can be a bad thing!

  • pvw

    @Ion: “Among the most conservative of parents, they say just that, children should be home-schooled by stay-at-home moms and daughters should not be encouraged to go to college. They should be raised to become housewives. ”

    So I wonder in your story, how well does this go over with daughters? I assume the rebellion rate is pretty high. Or “jesus helped” them give up fornication around the age they want to marry. Or for men, “god is working on their heart”, as they consciously make the effort to hook up many times before settling down.

    Me: The conservative parents I know, the children are fairly young, just entering high school age.

    They have told me about the choices they have considered, and that was one of them. But they haven’t gone so far as that, because they are in many ways dedicated to the trappings of their upper middle class/professional position (buppie/bougie), wanting children who can get into the best schools and achieve in that fashion.

    They just want them to be good Roman Catholics–social and political conservatives–while they do it: “to be of the world, but not in it.’ So they raise them where there is the interesting mix, as I mentioned, stay-at-home mom, but she was a lawyer, while dad still works as one. The children have never, and will never, go to a public school–they have only attended private schools, especially Roman Catholic ones. The hope is that when they go to college, they will still remember their traditionalist upbringing in what will likely be a very secular environment.

    But I disagree on that last point, and that is why I was surprised. If they want the children to remain conservative in college, they should encourage them to attend very conservative college environments that might be more likely to reinforce their values. From what I hear, the Catholic colleges lean towards the liberal side, so that might not be good enough. So I would suggest evangelical Protestant colleges, ie., , ie., Wheaton, Baylor, Regent, etc., or colleges in red state territory. But that would conflict with the “best college they can get into ideal.”

    It will be interesting to see what happens over the next few years.

  • pvw

    Should be modified: From what I hear, the traditional Catholic colleges (Notre Dame, Georgetown) lean towards the liberal side, so that might not be good enough. So I would suggest evangelical Protestant colleges, ie., , ie., Wheaton, Baylor, Regent, etc., or conservative Catholic colleges (St. Thomas in Minnesota, or Ave Maria in Floriday) or colleges in red state territory.

  • pvw

    @Ion: It seems like it’s always better to be conservative when there’s no room for hypocrisy, and strict unchallenged moral beliefs are the guide. And it has to be a part of the culture, it looks like.

    Me: And so I agree with you that culture is key, and they are doing all they can to control the cultural influences that surround them. The parents lived this in their own lives, retaining conservative values in a secular culture, as they went to secular colleges and dated others before they met each other.

    She was raised black Baptist (? I’m not sure), while he was raised conservative Roman Catholic, like I was, taught to believe in no sex at all prior to marriage. I thought it was really sweet that he was her sponsor when she became Roman Catholic during their engagement.

    I just hope the children will be able to successfully replicate the example their parents gave them.

  • SayWhaat

    @ PVW:

    But I disagree on that last point, and that is why I was surprised. If they want the children to remain conservative in college, they should encourage them to attend very conservative college environments that might be more likely to reinforce their values.

    I dunno about that. My parents raised me to be conservative and while I have stepped out of the box in certain ways (e.g. sex before marriage), I think overall I still adhere to conservative beliefs, despite living in an ultra-conservative environment. I will admit that I was more liberal in college (“how could anyone vote for Republicans??”), but after college I’ve found myself identifying with more conservative values than I did before.

  • SayWhaat

    Considering that one quick look around any event where couples congregate would reveal loving relationships between men and women, it’s clear that propping up this self-delusion must take considerable mental gymnastics, i.e. hamsterwheeling.

    I wonder what they do on Valentine’s Day. It is so damn hard not to notice happy couples on Valentine’s Day. Made me want to throw rocks.

    Though I s’pose angry blogging is a similar outlet.

  • pvw

    @SayWhaat @Me: “If they want the children to remain conservative in college, they should encourage them to attend very conservative college environments that might be more likely to reinforce their values…”

    I dunno about that. My parents raised me to be conservative and while I have stepped out of the box in certain ways (e.g. sex before marriage), I think overall I still adhere to conservative beliefs, despite living in an ultra-conservative environment. I will admit that I was more liberal in college (“how could anyone vote for Republicans??”), but after college I’ve found myself identifying with more conservative values than I did before.

    Me: I don’t think it is impossible, and like you, I have been able to do the same. Conservative parents successfully sending their children into a liberal world held 20+ years ago when their parents and I were teenagers, and more recently for you. We have kept a good bit of the conservative, got rid of some, and took on more of the conservative in certain ways. It just seems to me that in today’s world and in the world of the future, these kids who will be in college 10 years from now–they would be on average 10 or so years younger than you, I wonder just how easy it will be for that type of model to hold.

    The parents joke the model will hold because conservatives tend to have more children. Yet, they worry that the liberal system of higher education will aim to convert them, and hope their conservative values will keep firm. I hope that they will be in environments that encourage critical thinking skills, and that they will have an interest in developing those skills as well, to understand perspectives from the different parts of the political spectrum and be able to critically assess them. Of course, with my prejudices, I will want them to go towards the conservative side and at most become somewhat moderate…

  • Fifth Season

    Susan @312:

    Well, it all depends on what those can actually see, or what they choose to perceive. Sadly quite a few people have inured themselves to the possibility of achievable positive relationships.

    I take a bit of issue with the term “rationalization hamster” (principally applied to women in the manosphere), as though anything a woman says in her own defense is BS, and that she should just “bend over and take it.” It would be better if they analyzed the elements of faulty arguments and ill-advised actions and then said “what were you thinking?” instead.

    As for being in the company of happy couples for a dose of reality, I very much doubt that asking those couples point blank as to what attracted each to each other, without knowing them well first, would be considered very rude. And how would you know that they’re happy couples? Public displays of affection are widely frowned upon, and most couples don’t even hold hands in public anymore. It’s perfectly possible for them to put on a show in public just to appear happy together when in truth they frequently fight and/or don’t talk to each other in a private setting.

    As for “make themselves unlovable,” I would think it’s easy for “average frustrated chumps” (the term largely being men) to give up on such things, because you can only plug away so many times at something and get no results before it starts to look less and less attractive a proposition. But then again, it’s not like women will tell “AFCs” what you did wrong, or how you could become more attractive to her (most don’t even consciously know this), so without guidance they get more and more frustrated/bitter, becoming susceptible to misguided thinking (either by adopting a Rollo-esque mindset or by buying into PUA thinking, believing it will get them laid and “take back the power that women have over dating and relationships”).

    It’s too bad that so many manosphere bloggers base their writing on the premise that “game works and works often.” Sites like seductionmyth.com attempt to blow that misconception wide open, showing how women have their types and the like–I wish there were more. Maybe it’s time we handed over more olive branches to one another–the sexes don’t hate one another, and we don’t understand each other very well when it comes to attraction and intimacy, so let’s not castigate and mock each other over it. Don’t laugh and throw your drink in a man’s face/take a photo of him on your phone and splash it all over facebook as a creep/give him a fake number/etc. if he’s showing indicators of interest but he’s not your type–just be courteous and say “I’m sorry, I’m sure you have good qualities, but you’re just not what I’m looking for. But I hope you do find what you’re looking for soon.”

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

      Maybe it’s time we handed over more olive branches to one another–the sexes don’t hate one another, and we don’t understand each other very well when it comes to attraction and intimacy, so let’s not castigate and mock each other over it.

      That is precisely how I feel, thank you for voicing this.

      Don’t laugh and throw your drink in a man’s face/take a photo of him on your phone and splash it all over facebook as a creep/give him a fake number/etc. if he’s showing indicators of interest but he’s not your type–just be courteous and say “I’m sorry, I’m sure you have good qualities, but you’re just not what I’m looking for. But I hope you do find what you’re looking for soon.”

      Unfortunately, many people today are brats and have nothing to offer in a relationship. We’ll never actually get those women to behave better – they’re fully “cooked.” There are some, though, who are empathic and need to understand better what men prefer – which is just the kind of statement you gave as an example. There is hope for them.

      Mostly, though, I think both sexes need to filter like crazy. Don’t waste time or pay any mind to rejection from one of these stunted human beings.

  • Richard Aubrey

    It’s being said, increasingly, that putting kids into public education ought to be considered parental malpractice, and that has little to do with conservative/liberal issues.
    Unless you consider teaching fisting to third graders–see Kevin Jennings–part of the liberal spectrum, and Howard Zinn as moderate.
    But for other reasons as well.
    So home-schooling, by a SAHM, isn’t necessarily all about sex and nothing else. It might be about chicklit for English classes, a six-year-old being expelled for using a pretend hand grenade to Rescue the World, or adult/child sex messing around worthy of the Catholic church.
    OTOH, any six-year-old who knows what a grenade is probably comes from a family the easily-fussed educrats would rather avoid.

  • J

    Susan,

    Did you guys make it through thte storm OK?

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

      Did you guys make it through thte storm OK?

      Yes, thanks! We got over two feet. It was fun being snowed in and reading in front of the fire for a day, but we were happy when it was time to get out and shovel. Yesterday we took a long walk, but there were still very few cars on the road. My kids live in the city and they said it was so much fun – all the locals walking in the street, no cars at all, everyone cheerful and friendly. Lots of families came out. I heard one mom say to her young son, “Lucas, the snow is for everyone to share.” Haha! The good old days.

      Now I’m ready for spring.

  • J

    We need more posts like mr. wavevector’s (@151) in the “game-using manosphere,” to combat that impression.

    Here, here.

    Susan–I have an idea. You did that post on girl game where female readers gave hints on how to emotionally escalate. How ’bout one where the married posters each tell something that makes their marriage work?

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

      How ’bout one where the married posters each tell something that makes their marriage work?

      That is a fantastic idea! I’ll need to put up a post asking for input, I’ll do that shortly.

  • SayWhaat

    Glad to hear you made it through the storm alright! It’s raining now and most of the snow has been washed away/turned into black slush, gross.

    I got in a mini-snowball fight this weekend though, so it’s all good. :)

  • Fifth Season

    Susan @318:

    Actually, I meant that those kinds of woman-initiated rejections (or even the kind that happen for no perceived reason in the man’s eyes) are part of what fuels all the misinformation about who women “really” choose for intimate relationships. Putting the reason up front would go at least some way towards removing these destructive misconceptions (they’ve fuelled the million-dollar PUA industry, sent many men off into destructive mindsets or habits, and robbed so many people of happiness in intimate relationships).

  • J

    Lots of families came out. I heard one mom say to her young son, “Lucas, the snow is for everyone to share.” Haha! The good old days.

    LOL. Yeah!

    Now I’m ready for spring.

    Me too.

  • a guy

    The entire framework of women “selling” sex to men is damaging. If women focused on enjoying the things they wanted to do anyways, everyone would be happier.

    This is why no one wants to marry American women. They see sex as a bargaining chip and a weapon, instead of something beautiful to share and enjoy.

    -Most of them do anyways. There are some rare exceptions who are simply wonderful human beings. But most American women have the toxic mindset you described in this post.

  • Snow Flake

    “or colleges in red state territory.”

    Red state college students don’t party and have sex?