Are Women Good, and Men Bad?

Are Women Good, and Men Bad?

According to author Suzanne Venker, “the so-called rise of women has not threatened men. It has pissed them off… Men want to love women, not compete with them. They want to provide for and protect their families – it’s in their DNA. But modern women won’t let them.”

When Venker asks men why they don’t want to get married, men say the same thing over and over:

“Women aren’t women anymore.”

Venker’s article on Fox News, and her new book, “How to Choose a Husband (and Make Peace with Marriage)” are decidedly controversial. I think Venker knows this and plays up her message, shifting the the blame for all relationship problems from men to women. This, I think, is a mistake. One gender is not to blame for all ills. Not men. Not women.

I wrote to Venker and asked her to send a copy of her book, so if I think it has any merit, I can share it with my readers. Without having read it, I can only respond to what she wrote in this one article.

If you date men, then, predictably, MEN are going to be the problem.

And while I don’t agree with her hyperbolic language about women “surrendering to their femininity,” which really does sound like some sort of flashback to the 1950′s, I do think there she has a point about women sharing responsibility for their relationship failings.

I go to great pains on this blog to establish the same concept, and receive a good amount of pushback for it. As Venker wrote, “After decades of browbeating the American male, men are tired. Tired of being told there’s something fundamentally wrong with them. Tired of being told that if women aren’t happy, it’s men’s fault.”

This is, by and large, true. Just as women should rightfully be outraged that Venker “blames” women and feminism for today’s relationship woes, men are outraged that we are always perceived as the problem. It’s all a matter of perspective.

If you date men, then, predictably, MEN are going to be the problem.

But if you date women (like men do), you may logically conclude that women are, at least part of the problem. After all, women are the ones who have changed more dramatically in the past 40 years. In gaining equality, they’ve embraced many male characteristics, blurred gender roles, and muddied the waters when it comes to work, money, responsibility, leadership, etc. This isn’t a bad thing and I’m not trying to go backwards or put the genie back in the bottle.

However, as a result of these changes, women are dissatisfied with men, men are dissatisfied with women, and both tend to play the blame game.

That doesn’t fly here. Look in the mirror, figure out who you are, figure out what you need, and you can find a complementary life partner, instead of blaming the opposite sex. What does that mean for my smart, strong, successful women? Well, it probably means that you should get used to equality. You will now have the same dating dilemmas as men.

If you’re an alpha female, better get used to the idea that certain men don’t find you attractive. Better get used to the idea that you may have to be the primary breadwinner. Better get used to the idea that the best fit for you is a more easygoing man, instead of the most “impressive” man.

In short, by becoming equal to men, women had better be willing to “date down” with someone who is less driven, educated, wealthy or ambitious.

Alas, we men have never called it “dating down”. We just called it dating.

And we liked being able to choose partners based on kindness, fun, laughter, attraction, values and compatibility.

I hope women learn to value men for the same reasons, instead of height, education, and income. Because whether you agree with Suzanne Venker or not, you have to admit, changing gender roles make relationships more confusing than ever before.

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  1. 91
    Karmic Equation

    @Karl R 90
     
    How does this benefit men more than women?
    Before the sexual revolution, men had sex with “floozies” and other “loose women”. Now practically all women are having sex outside marriage, giving men an unlimited number of women to have sex with. Those floozies and loose women, who may have HOPED for relationships, pretty much knew they wouldn’t have one. Most of the “good women” now who have sex outside marriage want relationships (laments galore on this board about how men should tell women upfront they’re not looking for relationships prior to having sex). So who benefits from the sexual revolution? The man who now can theoretically have sex with every woman he meets without having to be their “beau” or “husband” or the women who have sex now hoping, as they did previously, that the sex would lead to a relationship? Who has the bounty? At least pre-sexual revolution
     
    Are you assuming that women only engage in sex in order to gain a relationship? (You don’t seem to be, based on your other statements.)
    You’re right, I don’t engage in sex for relationships. But funnily enough, I end up in relationships with the men that I engage in sex with. But that’s me. I’m relationship-gifted : ) — Other women on this board, yes, many of them HOPE that sex will get them a relationship; or condition sex on being in a relationship first.
     
    Are you assuming that men used to be willing to get married just to have sex?
    Yes. I do believe “respectable” men pre-sexual revolution were expected to get married and have children to be considered productive members of society. And marriage was the “easiest” way then to get “unlimited” sex (in theory and societal expecatations anyway).
     
    Are you assuming that more women than men want to get married? Within certain limited age ranges (i.e. under 30), that may be true. Overall, the difference (if any) is slight.
    I believe this is a broader range, the “never been married” and the “biological ticking-clock” women want to be married. Women, like me, who’ve already been married, not so much. I wonder why?
     
    I’m not sure where you’re seeing a greater benefit for women rather than men.
    while women are making gains on equality with men wage- and career-wise, as you’ve said yourself, that equality hasn’t been reached yet. However, RELATIONSHIP-wise, women have certainly lost. They give sex hoping for relationships that may never come to pass. Perhaps not new, but certainly in the past men knew that having sex with a “respectable girl” meant he would be expected to marry her someday. MEN now have a cornucopia of women to have sex with, because society no longer frowns on women having sex. But we can all agree that “having sex” is not the priority for women, whereas “having relationships” is — so yes, MEN benefitted from this. As well, whereas MEN were expected to be the breadwinners and women housewives and mothers before the sexual revolution, now most households are expected to be dual-earners…AND women are still expected to do the majority of the housework and childcare. The men are no longer solely responsible for bringing home the bacon YET they are not expected to shoulder at even half the housework and childcare. Who did this benefit? Women who now have to bust their butts in the workforce AND at home? Or men who can expect their wives to shoulder half the financial burden and continue to shoulder most, if not all, the household burden too?
     
    Karmic Equation said: (#86)
    “MEN can now have sex without relationships or marriage and without society frowning on them.”
     
    This is new?
     
    See response above :)
     
    Karmic Equation said: (#86)
    “Why do you think that women who get around are called “sluts” while men who get around are called ‘players.’”
     
    Because the sexual revolution hasn’t reached the point of complete equality yet.
    I disagree. Women don’t have to “work” to get sex. They just have to acquiesce. Men have to work to get sex, whether it’s coming up with the right “line” or the right “gifts”, etc. Men have to work AND RISK REJECTION to get the sex they want. Women don’t have to risk anything for sex. I know that I can walk up to any guy and offer sex and he’d say yeah, let’s go. Can a man do that with any woman? Even the easy ones usually need a drink first.
     
    Either you’re a pessimist who focuses on the bad in every good situation, or men truly are the smarter sex. I’m betting on the former.
    No, I’m am pretty anti-establishment when it comes to society and quite Polyanna-ish when it comes to life and men. I would say I cut men more slack than they even they think they deserve : ) And I do believe that the sexual equality that women fought so hard for did us more a disservice as it pertains to RELATIONSHIPS (not sex per se). And just like anti-discrimination policies unintentionally send the message that minorities can’t succeed without help, aren’t as good as “white people” without a few extra points added to their scores, feminism devalued female power when it told us women should have the power and benefits that men have. Women HAD power. But that is now lost because women think having men’s power is the key to success. Perhaps in business, but not so in life/relationships with men.

  2. 92
    Katrina

    Karmic..
     
    I completely disagree and agree with you! Wait that doesn’t make any sense!
    Like in any revolution it would seem like women are having the short end of the stick in the short term. But that is only because we are in an acquisition process where boundaries are only just beginning to take shape. Yes women are still expected to complete the brunt of housework, yes with more sexual freedom there is less relationship clarity, and yes this has affected women both negatively and positively.
    However as in any litigation the contract between men and women is not clearly defined and the details are slowly being ironed out. I know plenty of women who are benefiting from stay at home dads who do the majority of the housework. My next door neighbor once told me about coming home and her (now) husband scrubbing the floor of her flat within a month of meeting him. They have been together for a long time and I can tell you he does half the household chores plus all the traditional male ones of taking out the trash and being mr. fix it. We can see a new trend where families work together rather then laying everything on the shoulders of the submissive housewife.
    As for dating! My mother married her most recent husband (and she has had a few i’m afraid to say) with the no sex before marriage because she is jewish. She now found out he need viagra just to perform.
    Personally all of the men I have ever had sex with tend to stick with me. If they are marriage minded then they will go for more and if their not ready to settle down then they won’t. A friend (buddy of mine) is getting married in April and he loves sex with different women. But, like women, men also need to have a close connection and feel love with a women.  So i don’t see our sexual freedom affecting our ability to enter into a relationship.
     
     
     

  3. 93
    Karl R

    Karmic Equation said: (#97)
    “Most of the ‘good women’ now who have sex outside marriage want relationships”
     
    They don’t always want relationships with the men they’re having sex with.
     
    At least half my sex partners were explicitly non-monogamous relationships. I told them that I didn’t want a monogamous relationship. They agreed that they didn’t want one either. And most had at least one other sex partner (that I knew of) during those flings. I don’t know whether these women wanted relationships, but they knew they wouldn’t have one with me.
     
    My relationship with my wife started off as a fling. She explicitly told me that she wasn’t interested in a serious relationship with me. She was interested in a serious relationship with someone else. (She implied that she was receptive to having “a bit of fun” which I interpreted to mean a casual sexual relationship.) For the first couple months we were dating, she didn’t take the relationship seriously because she was keeping her options open.
     
    Two of my sex partners in the years before my wife were women who were interested in getting married, but didn’t see me as a good potential father. (I don’t want kids.)
     
    These are all women who either didn’t want a relationship, or who weren’t going to let the current lack of a good relationship partner get in the way of having some sex for fun. The sexual revolution gave them that freedom.
     
    Karmic Equation said: (#97)
    “we can all agree that ‘having sex’ is not the priority for women, whereas ‘having relationships’ is”
    “women want to be married. Women, like me, who’ve already been married, not so much.”
     
    You think “we can all agree” that relationships are a priority for women, even though you don’t agree that it’s a priority for you and women like you.
     
    Apparently, you can’t  even agree with yourself about that point. What makes you think that “we” all agree with it?
     
    Your points will be slightly more believable if you agree with them.
     
    Karmic Equation said: (#97)
    “I know that I can walk up to any guy and offer sex and he’d say yeah, let’s go.”
     
    That’s your ego talking, not reality. I’ve turned down a few propositions like that. I turned down one because I was in an exclusive relationship. I also turned down a few (when I was single) because I didn’t find them attractive.
     
    In one case, I was drunk and stoned (having donated blood earlier in the day), and I still declined. My vision may have been blurry, but I wasn’t blind.
     
    Karmic Equation said: (#97)
    “So who benefits from the sexual revolution? The man who now can theoretically have sex with every woman he meets”
     
    I’ve never had theoretical sex.
     
    I can’t have actual sex with every woman I meet (nor would I want to have sex with most of them). Even if I was a drop-dead gorgeous celebrity, I still wouldn’t be able to have actual sex with every woman that I wanted to have sex with.
     
    Therefore, the “benefit” you describe is dependent upon some fantasy world that we don’t live in.
     
    Karmic Equation said: (#97)
    “in the past men knew that having sex with a ‘respectable girl’ meant he would be expected to marry her someday.”
     
    And a lot of horny teens and twenty-somethings ended up trapped in unhappy marriages that way.
     
    Do you see that as a “benefit” that women have lost?
     
    Karmic Equation said: (#97)
    “So who benefits from the sexual revolution? [...] the women who have sex now hoping, as they did previously, that the sex would lead to a relationship?”
     
    Let’s try for a little consistency. Earlier you said:
    “Those floozies and loose women, who may have HOPED for relationships, pretty much knew they wouldn’t have one.”
     
    According to you, the floozies knew that sex wasn’t going to get them a relationship. Do you somehow think that the more sophisticated, post-sexual revolution women of today haven’t figured out the same thing?
     
    The women I hang out with have sex because they’re hoping for fun sex. But maybe I hang out with smarter women.
     
    Karmic Equation said: (#97)
    “I do believe ‘respectable’ men pre-sexual revolution were expected to get married and have children to be considered productive members of society.”
     
    According to studies conducted by the authors of “Premarital Sex in America: How Young Americans Meet, Mate and Think About Marrying,” (written in 2011) 93% of college-aged men want to get married (primarily so they can start a family), but they want to do it later in life. 96% of college-aged women want to get married (primarily so they can start a family), but they also want to do it later in life.
     
    So instead of men and women doing this because they’re expected to (a they were pre-sexual revolution), men and women are doing the exact same thing (when they’re more mature) because they want to.
     
    How does this change put women at a disadvantage?
     
    You’d probably love this book. The authors conclusions seem to match your own opinions. Furthermore, they stick to those conclusions through convoluted explanations even though their own data contradicts their conclusions.
     
    I said: (#90)
    “the sexual revolution hasn’t reached the point of complete equality yet.”
    Karmic Equation said: (#97)
    “I disagree. Women don’t have to ‘work’ to get sex. They just have to acquiesce. Men have to work to get sex,”
     
    You just proved my point.
     
    Karmic Equation said: (#97)
    “Men have to work AND RISK REJECTION to get the sex they want.”
     
    If you think rejection is scary, then you haven’t been rejected enough.
     
    My wife and I will attend a major (annual) dance event next week. Men ask women to dance more often than women ask men, but it’s socially acceptable to do either.
     
    I will ask hundreds of women to dance, and a small percentage of women will turn me down. Dozens of women will ask me to dance, and I’ll turn a small percentage down. I will have lots of dances, and enjoy myself immensely.
     
    My wife prefers to be asked to dance, rather than doing the asking. If she does this exclusively for the entire weekend, she will not get turned down at all. However, at some point during the weekend, she will complain to me about how she’s not getting enough dances.
     
    If she decides to get up and do some of the asking, she will get turned down about as often as I do. She will have as many dances as she wants. And she will enjoy herself immensely. (This is an annual event, so my predictions are based on what has happened in previous years.)
     
    More rejection generally correlates to more dances (or more dates, or more sex, or more relationships).
     
    While the sexual revolution hasn’t given men and women full equality (yet), it seems that greater equality might give women the same benefits you claim it denies them.

  4. 94
    Michelle

    I’m on board with Karmic & Tom10 on this thread when we’re talking in context of romance and romantic relationships (as opposed to dances :) as we apply their comments to the masses.

  5. 95
    Karmic Equation

    @Karl 99
     
    “The sexual revolution gave them that freedom.”
    We agree on this point. The sexual revolution gave women the freedom to have as much sex as they want with as many men as they want.
     
    Karmic Equation said: (#97)
    “we can all agree that ‘having sex’ is not the priority for women, whereas ‘having relationships’ is”
    “women want to be married. Women, like me, who’ve already been married, not so much.”
    So we’re devolving to nitpicking word choices instead of the concept as a whole? Ok.

    Are you saying that marriage is the only form of “relationship”? Long-term partnerships without the piece of paper or dating exclusively are not considered relationships?

    “You think “we can all agree” that relationships are a priority for women, even though you don’t agree that it’s a priority for you and women like you.”
    I think it’s well established that I don’t think like most women, so I’ll concede and be more concise and change “women” to “most women”. Does that really change the concept I’m trying to convey?
     
    Karmic Equation said: (#97)
    “I know that I can walk up to any guy and offer sex and he’d say yeah, let’s go…That’s your ego talking, not reality.
    Really? Wasn’t it you who wrote that men wouldn’t say no to sex because they were holding out for a relationship?

    Again, ok. I’ll be more concise. I can go up to “almost/practically any guy…who I can tell is attracted to me”…
     
    “I’ve never had theoretical sex.”
    That’s too bad. It’s fun. I’ve had theoretical sex with Shemar Moore, Jude Law, Pierce Brosnan…and a few less famous guys.

    “I can’t have actual sex with every woman I meet (nor would I want to have sex with most of them). Even if I was a drop-dead gorgeous celebrity, I still wouldn’t be able to have actual sex with every woman that I wanted to have sex with.”
    Again, nitpicking a single word to devalue the concept. I can go there too. Where did I mention celebrities? So you’re saying that if a drop dead gorgeous female celebrity wanted to have actual sex with you, you would have said no (when you were single…)?
     
    “And a lot of horny teens and twenty-somethings ended up trapped in unhappy marriages that way…Do you see that as a “benefit” that women have lost?”
    When did I mention unhappy marriages? People have unhappy marriages now, post-sexual revolution. So are you saying women benefited with more happy marriages post-sexual revolution?
     
    “The women I hang out with have sex because they’re hoping for fun sex. But maybe I hang out with smarter women.”
    Perhaps. Or perhaps you were hanging out with the minority of women, like myself, who are ok with having sex sans relationship. Lucky you.

    “So instead of men and women doing this because they’re expected to (as they were pre-sexual revolution), men and women are doing the exact same thing (when they’re more mature) because they want to…How does this change put women at a disadvantage?”
    It doesn’t put women at a disadvantage DIRECTLY but certainly indirectly. Take yourself, for example, pre-sexual revolution, if you didn’t want to have kids society would have looked at you askance. Perhaps labeled you a strange for not wanting children…would you even have gotten good jobs or promotions? Post sexual revolution, you have the choice to not have kids and still be considered a “normal” member of society. And the women who wanted relationships with you, but decided not to because you didn’t want kids?…Might you have married one of them had you felt obligated by societal expectations to marry and have kids? Wouldn’t one of those women have benefited from pre-sexual revolution societal expectations? Women were disadvantaged because an advantage was conferred to men–giving men the option to NOT marry and STILL be considered acceptable members of society while disadvantaging women by taking more marriageable men off the market.

    “You’d probably love this book. The authors conclusions seem to match your own opinions. Furthermore, they stick to those conclusions through convoluted explanations even though their own data contradicts their conclusions.”
    Hmmm…I don’t believe I contradicted myself. You say to-may-to; I say to-mah-to.
     
    I said: (#90)
    “the sexual revolution hasn’t reached the point of complete equality yet.”
    Karmic Equation said: (#97)
    “I disagree. Women don’t have to ‘work’ to get sex. They just have to acquiesce. Men have to work to get sex,”You just proved my point.
    Ok. I must be as stupid as you’ve implied. I don’t know what point I’ve proven. Please enlighten.

    “If you think rejection is scary, then you haven’t been rejected enough.”
    Guilty! I choose the best among those who pursue me. Never having to risk rejection. That is a woman’s power and I’m proud and very happy to be able to wield that power with finesse.
     
    “More rejection generally correlates to more dances (or more dates, or more sex, or more relationships).”
    So dancing = relationships, but dating exclusively doesn’t equal relationships? Really? You are right. We don’t live in the same reality.
     
    “While the sexual revolution hasn’t given men and women full equality (yet), it seems that greater equality might give women the same benefits you claim it denies them.”
    I would agree with you if you agree with Katrina #98‘s post regarding the fact that we are in the “acquisition process”. We’ll have to come back and revisit this in what? Another 5 years? So another five years of men gaining more as women gain more? Never fully equalizing or even overtaking? I guess that is better than stagnating. However, I don’t buy that the sexual revolution was good for women when it comes to RELATIONSHIPS. When it comes to sex, I fully agree and rejoice :)

    @Tom10
    Stateside I’m on the East Coast. So you wouldn’t have to travel too far.

    @Michelle
    Thanks!

    @Alpha Girl
    Loved the video!

    @Katrina 98
    I can agree with what you’re saying and understand your point.

  6. 96
    Fusee

    I also agree with Karmic Equation‘s comment @97, if we’re talking in general terms and not making it the ultimate truth. In general terms, back then it was easy for a woman to get married because of social pressure encouraging men to make the ultimate commitment in order to have sex with a decent woman and to have his homemaking needs covered. It was not just about sex but a great incentive and a powerful drive. Of course, not 100% of people did want it and did it, but it certainly was the norm for most respectable men and women, for better or worse. Gender roles were defined and each gender needed the other one to function in life and be socially accepted. Were these marriages happy? Of course not. But we’re not talking about happiness, only about the fact that a young woman did not have much struggle to secure a marriage at a younger age, even if she was not a “10″ in every area. Same for men. They did not have to be “10″, they just had to be able to house, feed, and clothe a woman to be a suitable propect.
     
    Now, am I longing for those times? Not at all. Yes, it’s now much harder to enter a marriage, but I would not want to go back in time when it was “easy”. I’d rather keep my freedom and face the modern difficulties. At this point I believe that the process is hard on both men and women because by not needing one another anymore we all became incredibly picky. It’s not enough to have a decent looking and hard-working companion, we now want the best looking, most ambitious, inspiring, communicative, yada yada person of the whole world. Both genders are guilty of this never ending yearning for the best and using it as an excuse to postpone commitment or to reject commitment-minded people who do not have enough “qualifications”. However, because ultimately more women are interested in marriage at an earlier age, they are the ones who struggle the most with this specific aspect of dating. It does not mean that men do not struggle with other aspects of the process, but a proposal for marriage is hard to get these days for a woman.
     
    Evan asked @60: “The real question is whether the changes in women over the past 40 years have negatively impacted their ability to find happy partnerships, and what, if anything can women do about it themselves (presuming that you can’t change men)?”
     
    If it was easier to secure a commitment in the past, I certainly believe that the changes have improved the ability of finding a happy commitment. With the ability to postpone marriage till a bit later in life thanks to birth control and the blurring of gender roles, women and men have greater chances to enter a marriage when they have a better understanding of what it takes to be a good partner and what compatibility really means. So it might be more difficult to find A commitment, but it’s easier to end up in a GOOD commitment. At least, if we listen to great advice such as Evan’s instead of falling into the trap of libido and unrealistic expectations.
     
    Now, what’s a woman to do? First off, feeling grateful to the freedom hardly won by the courageous women (and male allies) who fought for it! Secondly, not put the blame on men and instead realize that they have to adjust as well to the challenging changes. Then they need to sit down and think of what they want, and date with their goal in mind. Understanding the law of Karma helps: each thoughts and action has a consequence/reaction. Also we can talk in general terms as much as we want, and have a good understanding of the culture we’re dealing with, but at the end of the day, we date individuals. How about we simply try to find out who they are and what their dreams are rather than stereotyping them as “men”? When we find out, we can simply opt out or proceed accordingly. A traditional woman can still find a traditional man, and a very indepedant woman can certainly find a guy who will let her run around do her own thing. However I find more effective to try to adjust one’s personality somewhere in the middle of the spectrum because it does make oneself appealing to a wider pool of potential partners and because it makes life more interesting to challenge one’s usual patterns. So the smart, strong, successful woman can learn to be more accepting, receptive, and giving, while the traditional woman can learn to be a bit more assertive, ambitious, and goal-oriented. Outgrowing one’s personality is fulfilling one’s destiny after all.

  7. 97
    starthrower68

    I think I’m going to have to have a slide rule and graphing paper to figure out what everyone is saying here now.

  8. 98
    Alpha Girl

    marymary #95
    LOL I don’t think you get it.  I’m not saying that the other person isn’t enough at all silly.  That’s just silly.  He and I will of course meet that bridge if and when we get there.  Maybe a little swinging.  LOL

  9. 99
    Nicole

    @Starthrower, well, for one, you have some people who actually believe that men in the past minded having casual sex with “floozies.”  I don’t think men mind a woman’s moral compass at all when it comes to sex.  
    And I don’t think that having regular sex with a frigid 50′s housewife was really a great prospect.  I’m pretty sure Mad Men is a really good portrayal of how life was for a certain group of Americans at a certain point in time.  Married men continued to enjoy good sex with women who knew what they were doing while they had the respectable family at home.
    But other than that, this has veered off topic again but perhaps closer to topic than the first time it happened.

  10. 100
    marymary

    I’ve lost the plot here but re the dancing comments, partnered dancing is a  microcosm of male-female relationships.  It’s a lovely feeling of safety to be led by a confident man, whether or not he is a more skilled dancer than me.  He decides when we turn, which way, how to avoid other partners.  I trust him to do that, and I can feel which way he will go without words.  He doesn’t push me about, he leads.
    If anyone is having problems with this male-female energy thing, a few ballroom lessons might be educational, plus it’s fun, and you might meet someone.
    In the ballet pas de deux, men are men and women are women.  I love these tips from a male dancer to his fellow men:
    http://www.dance.net/topic/2090899/1/Pas-De-Deux/Basic-Guide-for-Pas-De-Deux.html
    Never take your hands off her until you know she can hold her own.
    If you drop a girl more than once she will never trust you again, so don’t drop them.
    If for some reason she does fall, go down too, let her land on you. Better you then the floor, at least you’re softer then the floor.
    If she does hit you with her knee [in the groin], finish the turns, THEN you can go off to the corner and cry.
    Ooh, it’s just so manly!

  11. 101
    Tom10

    Ellen # 79
    “What is less clear to me is whether women and men ALL chase ONLY the top 10% of the meat market (another generalization maybe)”
     
    Yes you’re right – I plucked those (rather crass and exaggerated) figures out of thin air based on my own empirical observation of dating and reading comments on blogs, rather than from any peer-reviewed journal. 
     
    I suppose my point was there seem to be a few people who have fared badly and subsequently have given up, a few people who do quite well and are really happy and then everyone else in the middle. I think the biggest differences between those at either end are mindset, resilience and expectations, and by working on these characteristics anyone can go from one end to the other.
     
    I agree that “the smart person learns to stop being so choosy.”
     
    # 96
    I can’t wait to get back there either – it’s a great city. I might see you there this August for the races so :)
     
    Michelle
    Thanks too!
     
    Fusee # 102
    Great post – you really got to the nub of the issue.
     
    “We all became incredibly picky”
     
    and
     
    “Ultimately more women are interested in marriage at an earlier age.”
     
    I think the fact women look for marriage at an earlier age is linked primarily due to fertility – and this is the core issue which will affect dating for decades to come (until technology levels the playing field): i.e. women have to blink first!
     
    Were it not for this inequality in fertility then we would all continue our “never ending yearning for the best” searching for hypothetically better partners into our 40’s, 50’s etc. and the average age of first marriage would keep rising well beyond 30.
     
    Whether consciously or subconsciously I believe men know this and use it as leverage to secure their best possible deal, which forces women into a difficult position (I think some of the late 20’s / early 30’s women on this blog are feeling this pressure).
     
    I know from first-hand experience what silly criteria young men use to look for their ‘perfect woman’ and I acknowledge that if fertility was flipped the dating game would be vastly different and men would have to grow up a lot faster.
     
    What can women do about this? I think you answered this very well in your last paragraph so no need for me to expound further.

  12. 102
    Frimmel

    KE in 101: “I said: (#90)
    “the sexual revolution hasn’t reached the point of complete equality yet.”
    Karmic Equation said: (#97)
    “I disagree. Women don’t have to ‘work’ to get sex. They just have to acquiesce. Men have to work to get sex,”You just proved my point.
    Ok. I must be as stupid as you’ve implied. I don’t know what point I’ve proven. Please enlighten.”
     
    As I mentioned earlier men have not been freed from their traditional sex role so when you say men have to work to get sex you are agreeing that men need to perform their traditional sex role to get this sex without marriage. Judging from the comment threads here this sex without marriage is rarely as ‘strings free’ as advertised.
     
    Women can simply choose to have sex without being married without becoming a un-marry-able floozie and with or without a job.
     
    Therefore, the idea that men have achieved greater benefit from the sexual revolution rings false to most/many men or at least to Karl and myself.
     
    I do not have to marry to get sex with non-floozies but I still have to have a job and a place and disposable income and so on. And if I want this marriage free sex to be with not-unattractive, attractive, pretty, or hot women it had best be the right job and the right kind of place and a lot of disposable income and I’d best have the right attitude and the right things to say and the right ways of saying them and not be a dressed badly. And when it comes down to it (pardon the crassness) even the fat girls expect you to have a job and pay for drinks.
     
    And this marriage free sex comes with a number of risks outlining which is probably best left to another type of site.

  13. 103
    hespeler

    I said: (#90)
    “the sexual revolution hasn’t reached the point of complete equality yet.”

    Karmic Equation said: (#97)
    “I disagree. Women don’t have to ‘work’ to get sex. They just have to acquiesce. Men have to work to get sex,”You just proved my point.
    Ok. I must be as stupid as you’ve implied. I don’t know what point I’ve proven. Please enlighten
    I’m sure Karl R. will reply but my interpretation is that if we take your theory to be true, then where is the equality if men STILL have to work to get sex and women merely have to acquiesce?  When all men have to do is acquiesce then we can talk about some sort of equality.
    “If you think rejection is scary, then you haven’t been rejected enough.”
    Guilty! I choose the best among those who pursue me. Never having to risk rejection. That is a woman’s power and I’m proud and very happy to be able to wield that power with finesse.
    That is absolutely fine.  More power to you.  
    When I date a girl and it begins to develop into a perceived relationship where some type of commitment is either implied or expected from the woman, I can choose to leave or still date her while keeping my options open despite the fact we do bf/gf things and are having sex.  That is a man’s power and I’m proud and very happy to be able to wield that power with finesse.
    Because you see, if you are wielding your power to pick from the best, I may not be the best to you but I may be the best to another girl though I was searching for someone like you.  So I will make a go of it while I search for someone like you and if I find that person and she acquiesces to borrow a term, I’ll drop the other girl and pursue you.

  14. 104
    Karmic Equation

    @Frimmel and @Hespeler

    Thank you both for clarifying.

    However, you don’t seem to understand what equality means. The MEN in society have it good now…BETTER than women have. So WOMEN’s benefits need to REACH men’s current level before we can talk about how to make men equal to women.

    So men will HAVE TO continue to work for sex, this is the one of the few areas where WOMEN have the power. And if women are STUPID ENOUGH to cede that power, in addition to the “relationship-power” that they have already given up for “equality in business/careers” (which has yet to be achieved, btw, 40 yrs after the revolution. I work for a company where the leadership consists onf 8 white men and only one female, white of course), then men will ALWAYS have it better than women…and equality will NEVER be achieved for women. If both your premises were to happen, then women would have given up one of their last bastions of female power (simply acquiesce to sex) in addition to no longer easily (or ever) finding marriage partners. You think that is good for WOMEN?

    Look, I absolutely ADORE men. I understand them at some sort of primal level, so I’m NOT man-bashing here. I just want men to realize that equality means that men have it good already and should NOT REQUIRE women to give up any more women-only power so that MEN can be EQUAL…You guys have already gotten NEW bennies post-sexual revolution…More women to have sex with…No longer being required to be married in your late 20s/early 30s or at all…no longer having to SOLELY shoulder the financial burden of a family. If I were society incarnate, you can bet I would NOT EVER FOR AN INSTANT EVER going to give you guys “only-say-yes sex”.

    And those women who like hunting men, instead of being hunted, unfortunately are helping your premises come to pass. I think that sets women up to lose another womanly-right.

  15. 105
    Fusee

    I find debating how who has benefitted most from the sexual revolution a bit pointless, because it depends on what we are looking at and who is talking. Women who want to get married young would feel like the big losers since the revolution has resulted in delaying marriage. Women who want the freedom of casual sex, or at least casual sex while they’re studying and building their career will feel like winners… Men might feel like winners because they can take their time and play around before marriage and kids, but the less lucky ones in looks and succes might feel like losers because they now need to bring much more to the table – even just for casual sex – than they had to back in the 50s.
     
    Dating is still unfair post-revolution because it favors 7s and 8s. Average and below average people – men AND women – do not fare well because there is always a perception of something “better” and since the sexual revolution has removed the time pressure, these can be passed over and over since there is always hope to find “better” by just taking a bit more time. Conversely 9s and 10s grow entitled to date within their niche and might struggle to find suitable “equivalent” partners that are too rare.
     
    Everyone became picky but I think that the biggest difference in how the sexual revolution affects genders is TIME. Thanks to birth control and women working, people now can take plenty of TIME before getting married. And time affects genders differently: in general terms past a certain age (maybe 27-28) having more time plays in men’s favor and in women’s disfavor. Tom10 @107 explains part of the reason by mentioning fertility, but it’s not the whole explanation. Even women like me who do not desire children know that men are visual and that we need to look good to pass men’s first level of selection. And time does NOT (still in general terms) improve a woman’s look. While time disfavor women in what men primarily seek, it increases the odds for a man to improve what a woman primarily like in a prospective partner: stability, success, communication, etc. Of course there are exceptions to this statement and gender preferences are also becoming less different but in general terms, regardless of biological clock there still is more pressure on women to secure marriage earlier rather than later, while men can improve their odds by using the time to become more successful. As long as they take minimal care of their appearance of course. So in terms of effect of time past one’s late twenties, I’d say MEN 1 – WOMEN 0 : )

  16. 106
    hespeler

    Karmic Equation 110,
    You seem intent on proving that women are disadvantaged in the dating game when it’s apparent that it can be a struggle for everyone regardless of gender.
    I respectfully submit that Fusee is closer to the mark than you are.  Some will just have it easier and will have a lot of options because of their looks, their station in life, their wealth or some other factor.
    Also your premise is based upon an assumption that most men will gorge themselves as a result of the sexual revolution and never consider settling down.  I just don’t believe this to be true.  Again Frimmel is closer to the mark: more freedom = more options = more picky.  Both men and women are exercising their right to choose and this has made finding a lasting relationship difficult for BOTH sexes.
    Additionally, most folks will not be able to take advantage of all the free love because as has been mentioned (by Frimmel and others), they’re just not up to snuff in the eyes of the 7′s and ups.  Even if they are, the 7′s and ups will find a way to reject them because supposed options abound. 
    There is also a point you’re missing with the whole easy access to sex argument.  Yes I think a lot of men will take it when they can get it but the fantasy most men have is to have as many hot sexual partners as possible.  I think a common lament of most singles looking is that they can get dates but rarely get a date that they’re really into.  Let’s not BS; the “into” means physical attraction 9 times out of 10.  Therefore, if you’re the type of guy who doesn’t leave the hot part out of the equation then the possibility of limitless casual sex with marginally attractive women still isn’t getting you laid all that much.
    Finally I think you’re defining casual sex too ummm casually.  What does casual sex mean to you?  Guilt free sex on the first date, second date, third, a month but we have to do some bf/gf stuff too?  While you’ll get no argument from me that women certainly are more willing to have sex sans relationship than has been in the past, let’s not pretend that real life is like a porn shoot.  I can’t just go out and scrape a divorcee’s pool and she invites me in for lemonade and some red ass monkey sex (and I’m a good-looking guy).  Typically, getting to the casual sex point requires some amount of dating and work.  If you’re the type of guy looking for a relationship, and I’m here to tell you there are a lot of us out there, I may decide that even though I may get sex if I hang in there a little longer, my time and energy is better spent letting the girl go so I can find what I’m really looking for as well as her time isn’t wasted either.  What does the sexual revolution actually do for me?

  17. 107
    Karmic Equation

    @Hespeler 112

    Some will just have it easier and will have a lot of options because of their looks, their station in life, their wealth or some other factor.
    So what? This existed pre-sexual revolution. And will continue as long as there’s a human race and the battle of the sexes takes place on a slanted playing field.

    Also your premise is based upon an assumption that most men will gorge themselves as a result of the sexual revolution and never consider settling down.
    No. That is not my premise. My premise is that men no longer have to promise to be a woman’s beau or husband to get a woman to have sex with him. You stated as much in your “man-power” post: “When I date a girl and it begins to develop into a perceived relationship where some type of commitment is either implied or expected from the woman, I can choose to leave or still date her while keeping my options open despite the fact we do bf/gf things and are having sex.” This is DIS-advantageous to MOST women who are still looking for relationships, which are MOST women on this board. (Gotta keep Karl R happy with conciseness and accuracy ;)). And which hasn’t changed post-sexual revolution: MOST women still want relationships. Even the young ‘uns like Jenna and Lucy are looking for relationships, even while they also rejoice in the free sex benefit conferred to women because of the sexual revolution, which I have never disputed.

    Again Frimmel is closer to the mark: more freedom = more options = more picky.
    Agreed.

    Both men and women are exercising their right to choose and this has made finding a lasting relationship difficult for BOTH sexes.
    No. Lasting relationships are BUILT, not FOUND. Meaning that BOTH parties need to WORK at the relationship to build it up and make it last. So being picky doesn’t mean you can’t build a lasting relationship. I would say that being picky LIMITS your actually BEING in a relationships which limits your DEVELOPMENT of relationship-building skills. So if you restate that being picky means you are less likely to have the skills required to be a good partner in a relationship, and thus precluding your chances of building a lasting relationship, I’d agree with you. Is this what you mean? If not, what do you really mean?

    Additionally, most folks will not be able to take advantage of all the free love because as has been mentioned (by Frimmel and others), they’re just not up to snuff in the eyes of the 7′s and ups. Even if they are, the 7′s and ups will find a way to reject them because supposed options abound.
    So are you saying that most folks = 7 and ups? That’s obviously false. 5′s are 5′s on the scale of 1-10 because they are “average”, right? Meaning that half the population is better looking than the 5′s and the other half is not. 5′s were never (or perhaps rarely) able to date 7′s and aboves pre-sexual revolution, and it’s not news that they aren’t able to date/have sex with 7′s and up post-sexual revolution. That has not changed. Do you really think all current 5′s and below are virgins? Or are they out there having sex with other 5′s and perhaps 4′s and 3′s?
     
    There is also a point you’re missing with the whole easy access to sex argument. Yes I think a lot of men will take it when they can get it but the fantasy most men have is to have as many hot sexual partners as possible.
    Hotness is empirical, obviously (i.e., supermodels or celebrities). Less obvious is that hotness is subjective on a continuum depending on where YOU fall in that continuum. Don’t you think that a 4-male might think a 6-female is hot?  While 7′s may not think you’re hot, you’re probably hot to those 5′s YOU refuse to date. When you factor in age, the continuum shifts yet again. I’d rate myself a 7, and I’m attracting good looking 30 yo’s. So when I play in my league of 40-50 yo’s…My rating goes up. Point is, looks are subjective in many ways for all ratings. So whatever “advantages” are conferred to the 7′s and ups are conferred equivalently to lesser ratings when you consider that the lesser ratings are considered hot to those who rate lower than them.

    Therefore, if you’re the type of guy who doesn’t leave the hot part out of the equation then the possibility of limitless casual sex with marginally attractive women still isn’t getting you laid all that much.
    At the risk of offending you, if you are finding that the women you find hot are not finding YOU hot, then maybe you’re trying to play too far out of your league…or maybe while YOU “look” hot, you don’t ACT hot. Read this: The Analogy Between Confidence and Beauty.

    Finally I think you’re defining casual sex too ummm casually. What does casual sex mean to you?
    My definition of casual sex is relationship-free sex. Meaning having sex while not in an exclusive relationship.

    What does the sexual revolution actually do for me?
    You can have sex without being the girl’s BF or husband. If you’re not married, then you’ve taken advantage of the fact you can be at your age and not be married and still have sex and still be accepted by society. When you marry, very likely your wife will help with the financial burden of raising a family instead of depending on you to provide it all. That’s not enough?

  18. 108
    Helen

    Karmic 110, I don’t know what you’re talking about.
     
    You wrote to Frimmel and hespeler: “If both your premises were to happen, then women would have given up one of their last bastions of female power (simply acquiesce to sex) in addition to no longer easily (or ever) finding marriage partners.”
     
    Even today, in the wake of the feminist revolution, women don’t simply acquisce to sex.  I’m a go-getting alpha woman.  I don’t simply acquiesce to sex, not even in my loving marriage of 15 years.
     
    And I don’t see that it is necessarily a good thing for women to “easily find marriage partners.”  It may have been easier in old days, because of matchmaking that took place among families or other factors, but that didn’t guarantee happy, healthy marriages.  I don’t usually quote conservatives, but James Dobson of Focus on the Family was absolutely right when he said: it’s much better to be single than to be in an unhappy marriage.
     
    Fusee and hespeler have the right ideas. It does no good to force men and women’s sexual beliefs, prefences, and behaviors into narrow niches on opposite sides of each other.  The reality is much more complex, even if you were to create a so-called “dream world” for men (or women). 
     

  19. 109
    Fusee

    @Karmic Equation:
     
    Although I agree with some of your statements, I think that you’ve got way too attached to the concept that women are relationship-obsessed while men are sex-obsessed. Yes, 90% of men are driven by sex and end up (sometimes) in love, while 90% of women are driven by emotions and (sometimes) find a good lover… But at the end of the day it does not mean that most men are not hoping for a stable loving relationship and that most women would not reject some good sex while they’re waiting for Mr. Right. USA stats still show that most people, women AND men, end up married. How that’s going to evolve, who knows, but for now, most men still choose marriage.
     
    What has greatly changed is WHEN men choose to enter marriage, and what DRIVES them to go for it. In the 50s, it was the need for someone to replace mom, the drive for sex, and respectability, so it had to happen YOUNG. Now with easy access to sex and birth control, men learning how to cook, and women working, these needs have disappeared and have been replaced by the desire for kids, the need for a second income to buy a house, and the fear of aging all alone. Therefore men can afford postponing the ultimate commitment and can choose to enter marriage in their late thirties or early forties, while women still want and need to enter marriage younger. Not as young as before as their needs have also changed, but still much younger then late thirties/early forties. And that’s where the problem lies: the 28-32 old women want to marry a 28-32 guy but that guy has still plenty of time before feeling the need for kids, locking in a second income, and fear of old age. The problem is much more about timing than about different fundamental desires. Like everything else, having options and time is great, but it does complicate a decision-making process.
     
    Also, although I do not doubt that in the 50s people would also pair up within similar attraction/education/social status levels, I doubt they were as many options as now and that people would be so attached in marrying the “very best”. My step-father told me that when it was time for him to get a girl, he looked around in his small town and saw a few options. He picked one quite randomly, courted her, and married her. He did not spend years wondering about how he could trade up and who could possibly show up in town next year.
     
    You always talk about how sex is “female-power” but really, it’s not so much “power”. Choosing when to have sex in a new relationship is more about protection and wisdom than power, and anyway, after first-time sex, sex is just… sex. A great bonding activity. A man is going to need much more to consider his lady as a potential spouse since now he does not need to marry for sex and homemaking skills. Her other qualities and where he is at in life will be crucial. Real female power is about having developed within oneself a great balance between feminine and assertive qualities, negotiating with finesse the various stages of commitment while making sure that one’s prospect qualifies at all levels, and (and that one is from you, another thread I believe) having maintained the ability to walk away when what’s on offer does not match one’s ultimate goals. Timeline included.
     
    That’s how a women of 2013 can deal with all these changes. If she wants a marriage, he’s got to be over 30 and possibly over 35, she’s got to be the best woman he has met in his entire life, and she’s got to be clear that the dating/courtship is about deciding whether or not it will lead to marriage within whatever reasonnable timeline she feels comfortable with.

  20. 110
    Helen

    One more thing: Karmic, you’ve mentioned more than once that it’s somehow supposed to be a disadvantage to women that we have to shoulder part of the financial burden of the household by working.
     
    Can’t speak for others, but I love work. Love, love, love it. I would go mad if I had to be a stay-at-home wife and/or mother. Not judging those who are SAHWs or SAHMs - that’s just not my cup of tea.  Being able to work instead of being kept out of the workforce is one of the best things that came out of the feminist revolution.  Not just because some of us crazies adore our work, but because it provided women a means of being financially independent.  This, in turn, opened a huge number of doors for us in every aspect of life and living.
     

  21. 111
    Tracy

    I agree that men and women share the blame and neither gender should be angry at each other for dating and relationships gone wrong. But I take issue that we are the products of DNA. Okay, so men like to hunt and pursue and aren’t interested in women’s accomplishments, but how a woman makes them feel, and feminism hasn’t changed that need for men. But for eons women were told that their DNA made them nurturers and caregivers and they were the weaker sex and unable to compete in certain fields. Feminism taught women that they could do more than that. But, I think, it also taught men they could be more, too. Fathers now are probably more involved with their children and work as caregivers more than they ever have in history. 
    Maybe the goal now shouldn’t be arguing what feminism has destroyed but changing the discussion. What about changing what we teach our sons? Maybe we don’t tell them they there are two types of women: the kind you marry and the kind you have sex with only, based on superficial and judgemental criteria. I hate to think I have to tell my daughter that she has to play down her accomplishments to get a man and that she can’t be ambitious AND supportive of a partner’s goals at the same time. So why can’t we teach our sons the same thing? 
    I come at this from an interesting perspective. I am single and almost always get hit on by married men. Now, most of these men married women who aren’t career driven and likely support them in their own ambitions. But guess what? When these men hit on me here’s what they say: my wife is boring. Now, it could be the age (I am in my 40s as are most of these men and maybe they are having a midlife crisis). I turn them down, of course, because I am pretty certain I can do better than married men. But I also date men from all sorts of backgrounds  in terms of jobs and education and try to learn about them on their own individual merits and personalities. And I am fun and don’t put out too soon. But still I get pegged as the one good for sex only (why? I don’t know). Is it because we’ve taught men that driven, independent women only want sex? I do think this may be a problem with feminism; that such women get labeled easily, while less driven women are seen as the marrying kind.
    I believe I can have my own goals and accomplishments and be supportive of a man’s as well. Why can’t we teach both genders that concept instead of accepting that we are only products of our genetic programming?

  22. 112
    hespeler

    Karmic,
     
    So we’re not talking in circles I think we are a bit more in agreement than I originally figured.  I think the larger point is that access to sex is just easier these days.  Even if you’re not taking advantage of it (for whatever reason) you have no reason to seek a relationship when you can go online and find someone in a few hours, few days, few weeks willing to have sex without a relationship.  Hence, there is no need to lock yourself in so to speak.  I think we agree on that.  I just maintain that if you are going to use a perceived advantage (picking from the best), I’ll use one too (exploring and investing time with no commitment).  I just don’t think that either is a real advantage.
     
    No offense taken.  I know who and what I am.  I have some of the superficial qualities mentioned a lot on here which = attractiveness.  Tall, very physically fit (compared to Ryan Gosling a lot), six-figure salary, intelligent and educated with lots of interests.  Am I overrating myself?  I’m sure of it because I agree with Evan that EVERYONE overrates themselves to an extent.
     
    I was picky in my 20′s.  The online dating phenomenon has made me even more picky (as it has a lot of women).  As far as guys go, I get a lot of attention and options online (this is relative to females of course).  Because I am in my late-30′s now, most of my dating is relegated to online.  I just don’t find too many attractive women online and if I do, I compete with the 500 other e-mails she’s getting.  Of the women I find most attractive, I gotten dates with a few or I don’t get a response.  Months and years later I STILL see them online searching so obviously they’re overrrating themselves too or their expectations are as out of whack as mine have been.  Or they’re playing out of their league (bc women can do that) hoping those guys will commit to them but they inevitable find themselves back online burned out and ignoring e-mails…

  23. 113
    Andrew

    Things are certainly different know. The current state of relationships is that women have been effectively liberated from the authority of men in the context of a relationship.
    However, the unintended consequence is that men have been liberated from their responsibilities to women in the context of a relationship.
    Of course, this really isn’t working out well for anyone.

  24. 114
    Anita

    Tracy@1117: I get hit on by married men, too. Or flirted with, or they bare their souls about their boring or awful marriages, whatever. It’s weird. But these are the same guys who have to be married and think women who are aren’t married have something wrong with them. Go figure.
    Andrew@119: Who says this isn’t working out? It’s kinda great, actually. Today if you want a traditional marriage you can find that. If you want a gay marriage you can find that. If you want to be a single parent you can find that. If you want to live single and play around you can find that. If you want to be single and be celibate you can find that. If you want to be single and have a live-in relationship or a long-distance one or just a regular boyfriend/girlfriend you can find that. And plenty of people who will support your choices, whatever they may be.

  25. 115
    Jenna

    Yes, it is harder to find a relationship, but I’m still greatful to have been born in the 80s and take advantage of so many opportunities and choices as a woman today. I would be miserable getting married at 22 to some nice guy and buying a house and putting career ,travel and personal development on the bacK burner. Some womem have similar needs to men – wanting influence, experiences, intellectual stimulation, conquering great challenges and having bold adventures. If I’m single forever, which I doubt, so be it, I had a vivid and interesting life. No woman can count 100 percent on getting a man and having a great relationship, you have to create your own life. While no gal should think she has endless options with men, nor should she any longer feel she has to marry the first commitment minded dullard to come along. 

  26. 116
    Cat5

    As much as I dislike David Letterman and thought his mea culpa over his sex scandal (I mean…duh…it was your fault), I was listening to his interview with Oprah, and I think he hit the nail on the head.
     
    Oprah asked if he was going to counseling and he said that he was because he had always thought he was a good guy and then he had an affair and he realized he wasn’t.  So he’s been going to counseling to work on his issues and become a good guy.  I thought, wow!!!, that’s very insightful.
     
    I think far too many people, male and female, suffer from the same thing that David Letterman does.  They want to believe they are good people, but they don’t behave that way.  And in the dating/relationship world…that means people get hurt.
     
    We can all, male and female, stand to take a look at ourselves and make sure that when we are dating/in a relationship, that we are acting as a good decent person, and acting with integrity.  It doesn’t mean that you still won’t have relationships end.  It does mean that you will feel better about yourself, and so will the other person, if you do the right thing.

  27. 118
    Karl R

    Karmic Equation said: (#97)
    “The man who now can theoretically have sex with every woman he meets without having to be their ‘beau’ or ‘husband’ or the women who have sex now hoping, as they did previously, that the sex would lead to a relationship? Who has the bounty?”
    Karmic Equation said: (#101)
    “I’ve had theoretical sex with Shemar Moore, Jude Law, Pierce Brosnan…and a few less famous guys.”
     
    Can you explain to me how your complaint in (#97) is consistent with your statement in (#101)? The two comments seem completely inconsistent to me.
     
    What’s the “bounty” of “theoretical sex” that men are getting that you’re not? Did Jude Law mistakenly believe that your theoretical sex with him would lead to a relationship?
     
    Fusee said: (#102)
    “In general terms, back then it was easy for a woman to get married because of social pressure encouraging men to make the ultimate commitment in order to have sex with a decent woman and to have his homemaking needs covered. It was not just about sex but a great incentive and a powerful drive.”
     
    I agree with this statement, but more importantly, I agree with the remainder of your post, because you looked at the larger implications.
     
    While it was easier for a woman to get married back then, it was harder for her to stay single. Both her financial security and social status were dependent upon her husband. That same social pressure trapped her into the role of a homemaker if she married, and it derided her as a “spinster” or “old maid” if she did not.
     
    My grandfather’s aunt (1875-1974) believed that “A woman should go to the altar with unkissed lips.” Since she was never married, that’s how she went to her grave. To the best of our knowledge, she had one date in her life (which was chaperoned). When she was moved into a nursing home (in her 90s) she remarked that it was the nicest place that she had ever lived. Sadly, that was probably true.
     
    Karmic Equation,
    You’re trying to romanticize a societal structure which frequently forced unmarried women like my grandfather’s aunt to live impoverished, sexless and childless lives. (Or labeled them “fallen women” if they avoided the sexless and childless parts.)
     
    Have you notice that “old maid” and “spinster” are no longer normal parts of our vocabulary?
     
    Karmic Equation,
    I’m sure you’ve met men who were interested in having sex with you, but had no interest in you as a person. Would you want to marry that man, because society was pressuring both of you into getting married? Would you want that man to make every effort to pretend that he would make a good husband just because he was desperate for sex?
     
    I don’t care how badly a woman wants a relationship (or marriage). No woman in her right mind wants to be married to (or in a long-term relationship with) that man.
     
    38 months ago I was having sex a few times per week and spending 5 nights per at the house of a woman. Neither of us had mentioned dating exclusively. Now she’s my wife. I didn’t marry her because of social pressure. I didn’t marry her because it was the only way I could get sex. I didn’t marry her because it was the only way I could have sex with her. I married her because I love her and want to be married to her for the rest of our lives.
     
    Good relationships aren’t built on a foundation of external social pressure.
     
    Karmic Equation said: (#101)
    “I must be as stupid as you’ve implied. I don’t know what point I’ve proven. Please enlighten.”
     
    I stated that the sexual revolution had not reached full equality. You disagreed, and then gave an additional example of sexual inequality which still persisted to the present.
     
    If that explanation isn’t sufficiently enlightening, I’m not sure how it could be explained more clearly.
     
    Karmic Equation said: (#97)
    “Women don’t have to risk anything for sex. I know that I can walk up to any guy and offer sex and he’d say yeah, let’s go. Can a man do that with any woman?”
    Karmic Equation revised her statement: (#101)
    “I can go up to ‘almost/practically any guy…who I can tell is attracted to me’…”
     
    When I could tell that a single woman was attracted to me, that was risk-free. I wasn’t getting rejected.
     
    I’m going to explain this in a way that may apply to your own life. (Since you’ve already established that you don’t think like most women, it might not apply to you. If it doesn’t, ask some other women who are more normal to explain it to you.)
     
    Think back to a time when you were very attracted to a man. I’m not talking about a time when you found a man attractive, but you masked it so he wouldn’t realize it. I’m talking about a man whom you found attractive, and you deliberately telegraphed your interest so he would pick up on it. I’m not talking about a time when you gave some subtle hints to get him wondering. I’m talking about a time when you were so blatant that he would pick up on it, even if he happened to be a bit clueless.
     
    Think of a time when you telegraphed your interest that strongly -and- the man approached you and made a pass at you.
     
    Did you think of a time which meets those criteria?
     
    When the man made a pass at you, did you reject him? Why not?
     
    If you can tell that a single man is attracted to you, then you already know that he doesn’t want to reject you. The “risk of rejection” that you keep talking about (#86, 97 & 101) doesn’t exist for women or men under those circumstances.
     
    The “risk” occurs when you’re not sure whether the other person likes you (or you’re not sure whether they’re single).
     
    And it’s not that big of a risk. When I was rejected, I didn’t end up dating a woman whom I was interested in. That was the worst outcome. Let’s take another look at the possible outcomes:
    1. I don’t ask the woman out, so I don’t date her.
    2. I ask the woman out; she has a boyfriend, so I don’t date her.
    3. I ask the woman out; she’s not interested, so I don’t date her.
    4. I ask the woman out; she’s single and interested, so we date.
     
    If I don’t ask her out, I get the undesirable outcome. If I ask her out, the worst I can do is get the same undesirable outcome.
     
    The “female power” which you describe sounds unimpressive to me.

  28. 119
    Karmic Equation

    @Karl R

    We’re going to point-countpoint ad nauseum, so I think we’ll have to agree to disagree on the details.

    I’ve always enjoyed your points, more so when they are directed at others of course, but this has been fun :)

    My whole premise is that while women did make gains with the Sexual Revolution, MEN also made gains that women hadn’t counted on. Andrew 119 said it best “The current state of relationships is that women have been effectively liberated from the authority of men in the context of a relationship. However, the unintended consequence is that men have been liberated from their responsibilities to women in the context of a relationship.”

    And as Tom said, women are still the one-down because women are fertile for far fewer years than men.

    Therefore, if men gain whenever women make gains, then effectively, women will never reach par with men. That’s why I am so totally against your suggestion that women take on the male role of asking out/risking rejection up front. That brings women down while giving men yet ANOTHER gain. The rich keep getting richer in your scenario.

    You might want to read this (http://www.therulesrevisited.com/2012/06/get-used-to-rejection.html) about rejection. Women get rejected too, but typically AFTER sex, but men get rejected BEFORE sex. And by all accounts from the men on this blog, that is kind of a rite of passage for men (learning how to take rejection well). Since for most women being rejected after sex is traumatic, most don’t want this to be rite of passage into womanhood.

    On a personal note, I’ve never had problems with gaining relationships and keeping them going, so my argument that the sexual revolution did a disservice to women *in the context of relationships* is for the other women on this blog who have trouble gaining/maintaining relationships. Those are the women for whom the sexual revolution giveth then taketh away.

    One detail I just HAVE to point out is that while “spinster” and “old maid” are no longer terms, “man whore” now is. Why do you think that is? (Rhetorical question, NRN).

    *************
    @Jenna

    You were born into a culture where you can travel, have a great paying job, and do lots of things (due industrial progress not sexual revolution) – so you EXPECT those things to be available to you. If you had been born in the 50′s or before, you would have expected what was available THEN, unless you were prescient. Back then, if the culture was to be married by age 25, you probably would have been married by age 25. Back then the great jobs for women were being “stewardesses” or “nurses”, so that’s probably what you would have been happy with.

    To put it another way, I would not be happy GOING BACK to a time before tampons were invented because I know they exist. You probably don’t even know about the contraptions and special undergarments that existed prior to tampons (or even stick on pads) being invented. But if I grew up in a time before those were invented, I would have been ok with whatever was available because I wouldn’t know about the existence of better things.

    *************
    @Helen

    It doesn’t matter if we both love our jobs, that’s not the point. The point is Women worked back in 50′s and before, too, but they weren’t EXPECTED to work and help provide for the family. *MEN* were expected to provide for their families. That is no longer the case, so don’t you think that’s a +1 for men? Yet men are NOT YET EXPECTED to shoulder 50% of the household and childcare chores. Women still are…on top of putting in 40 hour weeks at work. You don’t think this is a double-whammy for women?

    On the surface, I would agree with you, Karl R, and Fusee that we now have the freedom to find happier, healthier relationships. However, that doesn’t mean that people prior to the sexual revolution NEVER found happy or healthy relationships. I would think that instead of looking for the HAPPIEST RELATIONSHIP EVER, like we do now, folks probably “settled” for “happy enough”. Was that really so wrong?

    ****************

    Look, I am taking full advantage of both the equal rights movement and sexual revolution. I’m not the one lamenting that there aren’t enough high-value men to have relationships/marriage with. My point was simply that men got gains that weren’t expected, while women took on losses they never expected, so there was really a zero-sum gain for women, if not a net loss. Women didn’t get the deal we thought we were getting. http://www.hookingupsmart.com/2009/12/02/hookinguprealities/have-women-been-screwed-by-the-sexual-revolution/

  29. 120
    Karl R

    Karmic Equation said: (#125)
    “My whole premise is that while women did make gains with the Sexual Revolution, MEN also made gains that women hadn’t counted on.”
     
    Why does that matter?
     
    If I get a $3,000 bonus at work, that’s a benefit to me. The amount of benefit I receive from a $3,000 bonus remains unchanged even if my coworker gets a $1,000 or $3,000 or $5,000 bonus (or no bonus at all).
     
    The mere fact that men received a benefit does not reduce or eliminate the benefit that women received.
     
    Karmic Equation said: (#125)
    “men are NOT YET EXPECTED to shoulder 50% of the household and childcare chores. Women still are…on top of putting in 40 hour weeks at work. You don’t think this is a double-whammy for women?”
     
    I’d call this a failure to find alternate solutions. In my household, with our combined incomes, we can easily afford to hire a maid. (No kids, so that doesn’t apply to us.) Not only do we have more money as a couple, but we can spend less time on housework than when we were both single.
     
    I consider it to be a “domestic tranquility” expense.
     
    Karmic Equation said: (#125)
    “The point is Women worked back in 50′s and before, too, but they weren’t EXPECTED to work and help provide for the family. *MEN* were expected to provide for their families. That is no longer the case, so don’t you think that’s a +1 for men?”
     
    You’re ignoring the big benefit that women saw from this change. in the 50s (and before) many women were trapped in unhappy and even abusive marriages because they had no other way to provide for their families. Now the same women have the ability to leave bad marriages knowing that they can support themselves and their families.
     
    You’re going to distort your view of the relative benefits that women gained if you blatantly ignore some of the dark realities of the 50s.
     
    Karmic Equation said: (#125)
    “Therefore, if men gain whenever women make gains, then effectively, women will never reach par with men.”
     
    That’s just poor math.
     
    You’re ignoring the magnitude of the gains. To give you a simple analogy, let’s say I have $100 and you have $50. Every time you gain $2, I gain $1. It doesn’t matter that I’m gaining whenever you gain. You will eventually surpass me because the magnitude was in your favor.
     
    Or to put it in terms of a karmic equation, that’s like claiming that you murdered someone, but you also helped an old lady across the street … so everything’s even.
     
    You are saying that authority and responsibility are equal. I disagree. In my early 20s, I had the option to move home (placing myself under my parents authority) in order to gain the benefit of them taking responsibility for my basic welfare. I was unemployed, broke and starving at the time, so it was not an easy decision. I eventually decided that I’d rather maintain my own autonomy (even knowing how high the price could be).
     
    Perhaps you’d be willing to accept someone’s absolute authority in order to gain them taking complete responsibility for your welfare. I would rather starve to death.
     
    And every one of the examples you gave includes the same flaw to the reasoning.
     
    Karmic Equation said: (#125)
    “That’s why I am so totally against your suggestion that women take on the male role of asking out/risking rejection up front. That brings women down while giving men yet ANOTHER gain.”
     
    This is a perfect example.
     
    I’d never suggest that men and women swap roles. I’d lose too much if they did.
     
    You’re completely ignoring the benefit that comes with asking people out. You have the opportunity to seize the initiative. You’re not stuck passively waiting for something to happen. You’re out making something happen.
     
    If women also start asking men out, they will face rejection. But they’ll avoid being stuck in a passive role. It’s not an equal trade.

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