Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Die, Die, Die My Darling*

Kay Hymowitz is shocked- shocked!- that men reacted badly to her first article about how feminism has turned them into perpetual manchildren a la Cohen Bros. movies. (Because when I look for real life psychosocial trends, I turn to Hollywood for my research.) Because she is so right, rightly rightest right about the poor boys and what the evil vagina has done to them.

I'll let Geds skewer her argument that feminism has turned men into boys and deal with this little bit of 1 + 1 = 3**:

A bit of all of the above, probably. But there’s another reason for these rants, one that is far less understood. Let’s call it gender bait and switch. Never before in history have men been matched up with women who are so much their equal—socially, professionally, and sexually. By the time they reach their twenties, they have years of experience with women as equal competitors—in school, on soccer fields, and even in bed. They very reasonably assume that the women they are meeting at a bar or café or gym are after the same things they are: financial independence, career success, toned triceps, and sex.

That’s the bait; here comes the switch. Women may want equality at the conference table and treadmill. But when it comes to sex and dating, they aren’t so sure. The might hook up as freely as a Duke athlete. Or, they might want men to play Greatest Generation gentleman. Yes, they want men to pay for dinner, call for dates—a writer at the popular dating website The Frisky titled a recent piece “Call me and ask me out for a damn date!”—and open doors for them. A lot of men wonder: “WTF??!” Why should they do the asking? Why should they pay for dinner? After all, they are equals and in any case, the woman a guy is asking out probably has more cash in her pocket than he does; recent female graduates are making more than males in most large cities.

Wow. So you mean women are not some monolithic bloc with one set of personalities, needs and desires? We're not all the same? How perfectly odd. I mean, who could possibly deal with the fact that each woman is an individual who will enjoy different activities and like different people and have different needs and expectations? That is too much to ask! How can men possible interact with us without knowing, in advance, exactly what we'll want? How can they be expected to navigate the minefield of individuality? It isn't fair!

Also, seriously, your source is The Frisky? I will now take this time to laugh, laugh and then dream of releasing 100 angry badgers into your bathroom while you are showering***.

Honestly, I have no idea what dating is like today, though I don't think Ms. Hymowitz does either. Are dating norms amongst a certain set in New York City the same as dating norms in rural Tennessee****? I doubt it. Are the dating norms of college students the same as those 35 and above? Again, I doubt it. My point is, just because some women in some age groups in some socioeconomic positions don't ask men out or expect men to pay for a date doesn't mean all women do.

I have asked men out. Just a casual, "Hey, you wanna see this movie?", but I asked them. I also considered it rude not to pay for the popcorn if he paid for the tickets or vice versa. We're both enjoying ourselves, we should both contribute. Then again, I've never dated a rich guy, either. I might feel differently about it if he had significantly more money than me. I'd expect the man to feel the same way if I were the one with wads of cash to throw around.

Apparently, Ms. Hymowitz lives in a little bubble of perfect society, since she totally failed to recognize that while feminism has made enormous strides in the way women are regarded or treated, there is still a huge amount of misogyny, patriarchy and kyriarchy at play in the US and it impacts dating heavily. Men want to fuck, women want to marry. Men fix stuff, women talk. Men are studs, women are sluts. Men are breadwinners, women should stay home with the babies. Oh, and if she's wearing a short skirt, or drunk, or smiled at your in passing once, she totally wanted it.

That's a lot to navigate. I'd say it makes dating difficult, but it makes life difficult. Dating is a subset of life.

Far worse in the bait and switch category is women’s stated preference for nice guys and actual attraction to bad boys. Now, clearly this is not true for all women. Many, maybe even most, want a guy with the sweetness of a Jimmy Stewart and sensitivity of Ashley Wilkes. But enough of them are partial to the Charlie Sheens of this world that one popular dating guru, David DeAngleo, lists “Being Too Much of a Nice Guy” as No. 1 in his “Ten Most Dangerous Mistakes Men Make With Women.” At a website with the evocative name Relationshit.com, (“Brutally honest dating advice for the cynical, bitter, and jaded,” and sociological cousin of Dating-is-Hell.com) the most highly trafficked pages are those asking the question why women don’t like good guys.

PlayStations and Internet porn? For a lot of guys, they seem like the better way.

So, some few women say that they want one thing, but actually want another, and some website says something, therefore video games and porn. Seriously, Hymowitz? That's pathetic. And so are you.

*Why, yes, that is a random Misfits reference. Sometimes you have to go old school to express how you feel.

**It does not.

***The Empire will not feel a need to warn you as to the time and place of just punishments.

****New Yorkers can get Manhattan Tunnel Vision in which they seem to imagine that the entire country is either the same as NYC or stops at the Hudson River. My mother once had an editor that refused to believe that any city in Indiana could possibly have a symphony orchestra. She seemed to think we had an outhouse and that my mother wrote by candle light.


  1. Yay! Ask and ye shall receive!

  2. Well, it works better if you're working with real people . . .

  3. And you ask for something you figure they'd do, anyway, but don't want to hang around and hope
    for independent invention to take effect...

  4. Yes, it would be best not to ask me for the cure to cancer. You're guaranteed to be disappointed. Now a snarkathon on a ridiculous article, that I can do.

  5. Interestingly, while she does at least sort of admit that there might maybe be some individuation among women, she still doesn't seem particularly aware that men are individuals, too. At least not here, and I'm not sure I have the stomach to try the rest of her article...

  6. So I have an admission: I didn't really read the article before suggesting it. Whenever I come across something like this my brain basically rejects it and I end up skimming without actually attempting to read for deep comprehension. It's a self-preservation technique, really.

    Anyway, I just noticed this:

    "By the time they reach their twenties, they have years of experience with women as equal competitors—in school, on soccer fields, and even in bed."

    Why are we competing in bed? I mean, if you're in to that sort of thing, have at. But...um...I wasn't given to understand it's really supposed to be a competition. But maybe I'm wrong there.

    MM: Interestingly, while she does at least sort of admit that there might maybe be some individuation among women, she still doesn't seem particularly aware that men are individuals, too.

    Yeah. It's the same reason I got pissed off by PF's article on the last go-round. There's this monolithic concept of "men." And we're all represented by the lowest common denominator Men's Rights Activist types. Which, really, doesn't work for me.

    Which is why I started talking about my own experiences in the single life on my blog. Not because I think I'm typical or have a particularly useful perspective, but because if you want proof of a non-monolithic "men," you could do worse than to listen to me for a while.

  7. Oh, Kay Hymowitz is such a garbage machine.

    First of all, there's been a "crisis of masculinity" since at least the early 1800's. And always always always it was the women who were causing it. So. Yawn. Bring us something new, you conservative hypocrit-- shouldn't she be at home quietly not emasculating a man?

    Oh that's right, her philosophy is a pile of guano, but less useful because it can't even be used for nitrogen.

    There is no crisis of masculinity. Dudes are doing alright.

    There is perhaps a crisis of patriarchal entitlement, and plenty of outrage at finding that the Big Lie (you are stronger/smarter/just better than women, so there's no need for them to even worry their little heads competing against you)is..a lie.

    But that is not a crisis of masculinity. Because, unlike Hymowitz and most rape apologizin', men are violent animals story telling conservatives, I don't think masculinity in and of itself has to be dominant to exist. Plenty of guys seem to get along just fine as equals. Plenty don't, but that's no reason to give up all my rights so they feel better.

    If you'd like another taste of the prison hooch that is Hymowitz's writing, go forth and be prepared to PUKE:



Comments are for you guys, not for me. Say what you will. Don't feel compelled to stay on topic, I enjoy it when comments enter Tangentville or veer off into Non Sequitur Town. Just keep it polite, okay?

I am attempting to use blogger's new comment spam feature. If you don't immediately see your comment, it is being held in spam, I will get it out next time I check the filter. Unless you are Dennis Markuze, in which case you're never seeing your comment.

Creative Commons License
Forever in Hell by Personal Failure is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at foreverinhell.blogspot.com.