Wednesday, December 05, 2012

An interesting journey

Here's a problem for feminists. The theory tells them that they should maximise their autonomy, by living independent lives in which they do not need men. But where does that leave them when it comes to relationships? If a woman is oriented to independence from men, then what role is a man supposed to play in her life?

You can see this difficulty at work in the life of 30-something American feminist Kristine Solomon. She describes herself as liberal, single and childless.

Kristine Solomon recently read a column by Suzanne Venker and was left conflicted by it. It's Suzanne Venker's belief that some modern women are turning men off marriage by being too angry, too unfeminine and too independent:
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.

This isn't easy for Kristine Solomon to accept:
I didn’t spend all this time establishing a career and a comfortable, independent life so I could be told I’m "doing it wrong."

But even so she finds in Suzanne Venker's piece "basic truths that resonate with me":
The truth is, I do believe that there are certain instincts that are hardwired in men, and others that are hardwired in women, and that many men (perhaps subconsciously) are put off by a woman who asserts her independence too severely. I'm suggesting that when Venker urges us to embrace our "femininity," she isn’t implying that we should back down like scared animals and morph into 1950s sitcom wives. It's okay for women to sometimes exhibit stereotypically gendered behaviors — like nurturing or flirtatiousness — and for men to likewise indulge theirs — chivalry or machismo, for instance. It doesn’t mean we’re compromising our values if we engage in that dance. We’re still equal. We’re just... different. And that’s okay.

She's trying to get to the point at which she can accept "equal but different" and the complementarity of masculine and feminine. Better late than never, but as she admits she took a different view in her 20s:
Trust me, I didn’t always feel this way. I can tell you there have been many times when I've practically breathed fire in the face of my old-fashioned mother for suggesting that I refrain from coming across as "too independent," because, you know, the men I date might believe me and move on to women who do need them. Can you think of anything more offensive to say to an ambitious young woman?!

But, as time passed — and my 20s became my 30s — I began to realize that when I told men I was independent and didn’t "need anyone," many eventually backed off...I was determined to be equal, and my 25-year-old self found even the most remote sign of needing a man to be a weakness; I wouldn’t let myself go there.

She finishes with this somewhat compromised argument:
In my 30s, my approach to dating has changed. I've become even stronger and more independent, in large part because I’m no longer faking it. That freedom has given way to a sense of vulnerability. Traditional, antiquated acts of chivalry like holding a door open, paying on the first date and letting him walk on the outside of the pavement (yes, this is a thing) are welcome now. I don't feel those things lower me in any way, but rather, they make me feel protected and cared for. I don’t feel weak allowing that because I only date men who I know, right off the bat, hold me in high regard and consider me their equal. So there are no sensitive implications to being treated "like a woman." I don't feel I have a chip on my shoulder, and I’m no longer defensive.

She is no longer faking things, but likes feeling protected and cared for. She no longer has such a chip on her shoulder and is willing to accept a sense of vulnerability. But it all still has to be justified in terms of being independent, as she has been brought up to see this as the higher good.

She's wrong in continuing to justify herself in terms of independence; if she were really aiming at independence she would stay single and childless. The truth is that she's beginning to accept other goods as important in her life.

I can't criticise the reforms she is making, but I do find it interesting that she was sensitive, in her 20s, to being treated like a woman. That must have confused the men who tried to make contact with her. It can be difficult enough for people to meet the right person without major stumbling blocks like that being put in their way.

19 comments:

  1. What changed from her 20s to her 30s? Her market value. In her 20s she could afford to be "independent" because men were approaching her and she assumed they would always be there for her. In her 30s, men are no longer paying as much attention to her, and now she is happy for signs that they are (e.g., those "antiquated acts of chivalry").

    When I was in my 20s and met "independent" women who were totally focused on career, my reaction was, you don't need me, fine, I don't need you either, and there are plenty of women who do need me. All of them are still single and childless AFAIK. Ha ha!

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  2. This is hilarious. A left-liberal woman debating a right-liberal woman. Big liberalism debating small liberalism (aka "conservatism").

    And somehow they think that Fox News is "far religious right!" with creatures such as Beck/Palin/Limbaugh/Hannity/O'Reilly.

    Her story is also the typical "transition". Full-blown left-liberal duing 20's and "veiled" right-liberal during 30's.

    MRA's are often hysterical liberal lites, but they were right about this particular "transformation". And the class of these women. They have options and are upper middle class to upper class.

    But not every is like these top achieving women (or men). And what's with the obsession with the 1950's?

    Liberals are way too obsessed with power and the 1950's. lol

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  3. Basically she's trying to have it "both ways" (liberalism and "conservatism"). That's saddening. You end up with diluted illegitimate conservatism. Thanks a lot.

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  4. And the worse types are those who believe in liberalism but don't call themselves liberals.

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  5. Elizabeth Smith said...

    And the worse types are those who believe in liberalism but don't call themselves liberals
    ----------------

    I believe it's called "progressive".


    Anyway, the problem with a woman asserting her "independence" on dates shows men that at any moment she could not find them useful and take them to court for free money, via alimony and child support, and government subsidies. Those men are wise in not staying with a creature that basically only wants a sperm donor and shopping bag holder.

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  6. Note to Kristine Solomon: you're doing it wrong.

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  7. I wonder what proportion of middle class women are ruined by feminism? I have to say that in the UK or Australia it seems to be a minority, albeit a significant minority, but in the 'Blue State' USA it seems awfully high.

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  8. I find these type of articles annoying, there is no real epiphany or true change of heart, all she experiencing is finding herself on the wrong side of a demographic reality as she ages.

    Aussie numbers man Bernard Salt has written about this extensively since he released his book several years ago.

    Man Drought

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/property/no-change-in-singles-market-man-drought-still-as-bad-as-ever/story-fn9656lz-1226451242509


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  9. Off-topic: Ross Douthat seems to be thinking a little on Mark Richardson's usual lines: Don’t Mention The Decadence.

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  10. The man drought is a myth.

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  11. Actually I should say it's partially a myth. Half of it is caused by women competing with their potential mates. Just being there is enough to do the damage. It's the same with immigrants.

    Oh how the left likes to mock the White working man that cries out about his prospects being eaten up by women and foreigners. These people do not even have to try just being in positions that compete whether they are competitive or not does the damage.

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  12. So posting for the 3rd time (lol sorry) It could be summed up as a Zero-sum game.
    I have heard the Chinese are one people that love playing zero-sum games on a large scale.

    Now they are planning to build a gigantic Chinese amusement park in an area of NSW with high youth unemployment and a high female to male ratio where the females prefer to not date the local men.

    The "coincidences" one after the other.

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  13. In Ross Douthat's "Don’t Mention The Decadence" article New York Times, his rather tepid argument that it would be a good thing for the West to have at least a replacement rate of fertility, received 41 comments and every one of them critical. It would seem that the "moral" thing to do is to not have children to save the planet. So doomed.

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  14. You're right: that very tepid piece gathered 41 uniformly hostile comments, including "This borders on Nazism, having children for the good of the fatherland." and "No one argues that the fertility rate should not be above the replacement rate in some countries. What people are criticizing is the contention that marriage be the institution by which reproduction happens! That's what the feminist critique of your article was about!"

    If White people deserve to exist, it is for the sake of our ancestors and for future generations better than this one.

    I was wrong to suggest that anything at the New York Times bears comparison with what Mark Richardson is saying. The moral consensus there can be summed up as eliminationist anti-White-ism.

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  15. It’s very difficult for me to treat this seriously, or to have any sympathy for this woman. Yes, she’s begun to see the error of her ways, but she hasn't rejected the premise of her error at all. Moreover, the damage has been done. This kind of damage can’t really be undone either. A social conservative or religious-right type can lecture me about forgiveness, but, this isn't about forgiveness at all.

    There is an inherent injustice in a woman acting in a highly destructive manner and causing pain and frustration to men during her sexually most attractive years, “having her fun” and then turning around and wanting the very thing that (a) was offered to her, and (b) she spent years disparaging, insulting and shunning. She can of course be “forgiven” for this, but her actions have had a material impact on society and her own value in the eyes of men, something that doesn't just evaporate with an absolution, no matter how heartfelt.

    Her expectation that she is now open and willing to be treated the like princess she is not, after years of feminist assault on men and male nature, amplifies the insult. That beckons anger, not love, and certainly not forgiveness!

    I’m supposed to celebrate this woman’s change in thinking? No. The only thing that I, as a traditionalist male in his early thirties, can celebrate, and I mean the only thing, is when I see a younger generation which has not become sexually active reject outright the entire liberal feminist paradigm. I have not encountered this phenomenon at all.

    Even if this woman becomes chaste or joins a nunnery, she is still a complete write-off. No amount of repentance can recover the loss she has suffered at her own hands. She was lost a long time ago, but only now is merely beginning to realize it. Perhaps she will settle down, but it will be with a beta chump who is willing to take what she has to offer, which is very little indeed. She will experience the consequence of this too, in her married life. Ironically, these women have created the very things that they despised.

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  16. I’m supposed to celebrate this woman’s change in thinking? No. The only thing that I, as a traditionalist male in his early thirties, can celebrate, and I mean the only thing, is when I see a younger generation which has not become sexually active reject outright the entire liberal feminist paradigm. I have not encountered this phenomenon at all.

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    Well, there's hope out there my friend. Me and my fiancee are both virgins and we both become disgusted with feminism, of course we're not perfect by any means. Dating for 5 years this year and got engaged as well, it makes me really sad to think how meaningless sex would be if we had had sex from multiple partners, good thing we started dating when she was 15 and I was 16:D. The great thing is that all of my friends say they hold me and her in high respect because every single one of them have had premarital sex which has caused them to... change.


    Don't lose faith, there are plenty of anti-feminist, anti-liberalism, good hearted true traditionalist conservatives out there, we just have to lay low or else the aclu and splc will label us as hate groups thus opening the door for any "benevolent" violence against "hate" speech.

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  17. It would seem that the "moral" thing to do is to not have children to save the planet.

    Which means that the only people breeding are the ones who don't give a rats ass about the planet. So much for that idea...

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  18. Domestic Violence And Two-Income Homes.

    If the driver of domestic violence is male domination and female powerlessness, as feminism has been saying since the middle of the previous century, the traditional family ought to be the most violent family. Feminism has been treating that hypothesis as a fact for decades (and not investigating it because there is no need to investigate established facts), and using that assumed "fact" to argue for the legal, financial, social, political and sexual de-powering of men in marriage.

    But feminism's assumed truth is empirically wrong.

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  19. Exactly - feminism leads to more lonely, single, aging people, spinsters and bachelors, who eventually must face the prospect of becoming elderly and then dying childless and alone, without the support of a family network. Sounds fun doesn't it?

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