HuffPo Live has a video interview up to discuss Ann Brenoff’s article Do We Ever Outgrow our Lust for Bad Boys? In breaking down the appeal of the bad boy, Brenoff sums it up by saying, “We want to believe that we can change someone. That’s empowering.” Clinical psychologist Michelle Golland agrees: “As women we inherently want to fix people.” She also shares a typical line from her female patients: “He’s got such potential. If only he wasn’t on his parents’ insurance!” Golland also observes that many women with low self-esteem seek these relationships feeling that this is what they deserve, a concept often applied to relationships that are physically abusive.
It’s not just the need to rescue or change a man for the better, though. Women are not drawn to weak men who need to be fixed. Golland states, “Bad boys are confident, and they have a lot of male sexual energy. Women want to feel that their male partner is strong enough to protect them.” Next she says something that I think is very astute about the SMP today:
When we are very strong women, we do want a very confident, strong male that is going to be in charge of things.
As women have made gains, their success has come directly at the expense of men, both in education and in the workplace. Yet female hypergamy – the desire to mate with a stronger/higher status man than oneself – is unchanged. Over the last 40+ years, this has created the following dynamic:
The strongest, or highest status women, find a shortage of men who satisfy their requirements. On the other side, it’s the lower status males who go without. This is why women complain that there are not enough masculine men, while men complain that women are no longer feminine.
Under these market conditions, the men who come across as dominant, i.e. confident, have many admirers, and that includes the bad boys. In fact, cads now make up a disproportionate share of confident men. Recently I explained why some women are drawn to Dark Triad men. Dark traits are extreme examples of what women find attractive.
Women are attracted to confidence.
Narcissists are the most confident men.
Women are attracted to calm strength rather than anxiety.
Sociopaths are the least anxious men.
Women are attracted to men who are dominant.
Disagreeable, even violent men are the most dominant.
Women are attracted to men who embrace risk.
Dangerous men, and men in dangerous settings are the most comfortable with risk.
It’s not hard to see how many women wind up frittering away their youth and beauty on losers.
The other interesting thing about the interview is that it features a Game blogger called “George.” George is a self-identified member of the manosphere, and his appearance on HuffPo Live has been heralded as an achievement, proof that Red Pill wisdom is going mainstream in 2013. If so, the ‘sphere has very little time to fix a massive credibility problem. Like most ‘sphere bloggers, George is anonymous, and he agreed to be on the show only if he could keep his identity a secret. They might have at least showed him as a talking silhouette in front of a backlit window, like Deep Throat. In this case, George was just an empty, talking, black square alongside the other talking heads.
Host Josh Zepps: What are you running, a secret male, chauvinistic underground ring here? What are you doing for people that is so top secret?
George: Heh heh heh. Heh heh heh.
Zepps: This is symptomatic of the whole problem! It’s such a pussy way of doing things. We’re going to try to strategize behind the scenes, we’re going to try to plot and figure out the mysteries of women. This is what women don’t like!
George: And that’s what we’re teaching – to be straightforward, to be confident and all those types of things…Women want men who are strong, who are independent, who are confident and make decisions.
Zepps: And here you are – hiding behind – we can’t even see you!
The mainstream media is never going to adopt the practice of featuring the opinions of anonymous bloggers. Data charts, sure. No identity required if you’re crunching numbers. But interviews? Nope. George claimed that he has to stay anonymous to protect the identity of his readers, which is obviously BS.
A blogger who hides behind an empty screen demonstrates that he does not have the courage of his convictions. He is not willing to be interviewed and state what he believes. He cannot speak truth to power. As Zepps mocks him, George comes across as weak and fearful, not strong or independent.
Other anonymous bloggers have been portrayed as modern day equivalents of Lex Luthor, cooking up misogyny underground. Marginal Revolution blogger Tyler Cowen (real name) has called Roissy evil, even as he has pitied him:
Can he still be saved by a good woman? Indeed there are so many good women out there and yet not one has saved him to date. If only he would read Henry James’s “Beast in the Jungle.”
Poor Roissy. Poor, poor Roissy.
This public perception of weakness and or badness may not be a problem in the dating lives of anonymous bloggers, but it’s an insurmountable problem in the media. When the messenger appears foolish or worse, psychopathic, you can call “Ad hom!” all you want, the message will not be well received, by men or by women.
When I started blogging, I had a decision to make. I knew that writing under my real name would affect not just me, but also my husband and my kids. I also knew that without that honesty and conviction, I could never achieve my goal of reaching a large number of people. I would never be credible. I’ve been challenged outright by some media personalities and featured by others, but I’ve always been able to make a stand and back it up using my real identity. I’ve publicly spoken out in favor of Game. How many men can say the same?
Back to Zepps, he appears incredulous and amused as he shares part of George’s post on “eye fucking.”
“Hold eye contact for longer than is appropriate. When you break eye contact, break it sideways. This is powerful. Don’t break it down, which signals weakness, or up, while will give a weird vibe.”
Zepps: I can’t believe people are reading this and going “OK, on the count of three I’m gonna look to the side and that’s gonna make her like me!”
George defends his writing as useful to men who want to improve their dating lives by reading.
Zepps: I take your point, George, but I think it’s the nature of what the improvement is. I think it’s the sense that all you’re actually improving is your ability to manipulate people, rather than anything intrinsic about yourself.
Good luck, George, wherever you are, you man of mystery!
Game has the potential to help a great many young men. It’s one way of issuing a correction to that unfortunate 2013 dynamic in the chart above. But Game has a major PR problem. As long as its ambassadors hide behind pseudonyms, they will never enter the mainstream of debate in this country. Rightly or wrongly, they are perceived as cowardly misogynists.
Game needs more men who are willing to stand up for what they believe in and be counted. It needs more men who focus on the hard work of real change rather than coordinating rapid eye movements. If what they have to say would jeopardize their careers in male-dominated industries, or destroy their personal relationships, then maybe their message needs rethinking as well.
Man up, men of mystery. Game needs leaders who are willing to do what it takes to be taken seriously.