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Archive for March 21st, 2012

Man is a question; woman is an answer.  The mistake women make today is to offer themselves as answers before being questioned.  –  José Bergamín

For several decades the idea that men are “afraid of commitment” has been a feminist shibboleth – despite the fact that it flies in the face of normal women’s experiences.  In my experience and that of most women I know, men nearly always say “I love you” first and it’s women who shun commitment; I’ve received dozens of marriage proposals in my life, but only accepted two.  The male-commitment-phobia myth dates to the late 20th century; in both fiction and personal accounts written before that it’s always the man depicted as expressing his love, serenading beneath the balcony, proposing multiple times before his inamorata finally says “yes”, etc.  The truth of the matter is that men are only afraid of commitment to the same degree as women are:  namely, they fear committing to the wrong person.  But rather than admitting that the reason men wouldn’t express love or pursue marriage with them might be their fault, many feminist writers of the last quarter of the 20th century elected instead to blame it on the men.

It isn’t that all feminists have obnoxious personality traits which turn men off to them (as MRA-types might claim), nor that men are “afraid of strong women” (as radical feminists might claim).  I doubt anyone would disagree that I’m a strong woman, and I’ve been beating men off with a stick for almost 30 years.  The problem is that feminism stupidly encouraged women to act in a way that turns men off.  Women who say “I love you” first are like women who ask men out or propose sex; they come across as needy, and many men are turned off by it.  A woman who is too ready to express love or give away sex for free triggers a reaction in a typical man’s brain that “something must be wrong with her or else she’d be more aloof”; he’ll probably accept the free sex, but won’t be interested in anything else.  This recent article shows that men usually profess love first, and explains why it’s so:

The [phrase] “I love you” is symbolic as it represents romantic devotion; a desire to bring the relationship to a higher, more serious level…A common perception is that men are likely to exercise caution in the use of such words while women, who are thought to have stronger feelings of love, are likelier to be first to profess love…Yet a study…by…Norman Li [of Singapore Management University]…found that men are more likely to make the first move.  Furthermore, the onset of sexual activity also influences how a recipient might react to a three-worded confession as such.  In their paper “Let’s Get Serious: Communicating Commitment In Romantic Relationships”, [Li and two co-]authors said that an evolutionary perspective has been “particularly fruitful…in accounting for the costs and benefits underlying specific patterns of romantic behaviour” and based their hypotheses from several principles in economics and evolutionary biology…

The first principle…considered…is parental investment, which states that because reproductive success is the primary driver of natural selection, the biological sex that makes the greater “minimum obligatory investment” (typically females) in conceiving will tend to be more…choosy than the other sex…because women have more to lose than men by making poor mating choices, they have a stronger motivation to choose carefully and wisely…“sexual intercourse represents the core event for which parental investment pressures are relevant…Meeting a romantic partner’s parents may feel like a big step in a relationship, but it plays a comparatively minor role in terms of the minimum obligatory costs a person must expend in fertilisation and child rearing,” [the authors said].  And because committed, long-term relationships often involve sexual activity, “confessions of love may be used to achieve sexual access by (truthfully or insincerely) announcing long-term romantic interest.”

This assessment suggests that men will be relatively more interested in seeking this access at the outset of a relationship, led the authors to hypothesise that men would likelier confess love first…A series of surveys…about perceptions of romantic relationships…[were used] to test the hypotheses…[and] 70 percent of the couples reported that it was the man who had confessed love first…contrary to the belief that women might be more keen to pledge love and commitment, it is, in fact, men who are more likely to do so first – albeit to encourage sexual activity.  Women, on the other hand, may prefer to delay such expressions until they have evaluated their partners satisfactorily…

While the common perception may be that women tend to feel happier than men when they are told “I love you” for the first time in a relationship, an evolutionary-economics perspective suggests otherwise…“If love confessions are bids for sexual access, then women should respond less positively than men to confessions that occur prior to the onset of sexual activity in a relationship…In relationships in which sex occurs before love is confessed, they should be more motivated to seek investment, potentially in the form of commitment,” they wrote.  This would mean that women should feel more positive about receiving a post-sex than a pre-sex confession of love while men are likely to respond better to pre-sex confessions as they may perceive them as “signals of sexual opportunity” …survey results…showed that male respondents exhibited less happiness in response to hearing “I love you” after sex had occurred in a relationship versus before sex…[while] female respondents showed a higher level of happiness when they are told “I love you” after sex…

Here we have another “dog bites man” thing; any woman who believes that other women set great stock in professions of love which come prior to first sexual contact is either virginal or delusional.  Before sex, “I love you” might simply be a ploy to get in one’s pants; if, as the song says, he still loves you tomorrow, that’s meaningful.

The reason so many feminists sabotage their relationships from the outset is that they are hampered by a deep misunderstanding of  the power dynamics of such relationships.  A woman who wants the appearance of “equality” might try to “take the lead”, which as in dancing is very disruptive if her partner expects to play that role.  So he gets a bit turned off by it and (consciously or unconsciously) cools toward her, and she responds by chasing harder which spooks him more.  The more she tries to lead the more he imitates one of the Beatles running from screaming fans, so she goes off and writes a stupid article for some women’s magazine stating that “men are afraid of commitment”; eventually so many feminists do the same that the myth is established even among impressionable women whose personal experiences are exactly the opposite.  The saddest part of all this is that, though many feminists want to believe that being the aggressor in a relationship is a position of strength, it’s actually one of weakness; which position is stronger, that of the soldier running up the beach or that of the defender in his machine-gun emplacement?  But some feminists are so completely invested in believing that men have the advantage in everything that they abandon their positions of strength in one of the areas where women hold the high ground, and then wonder why they keep losing battles.

One Year Ago Yesterday

The First Time” discusses men who opt to use honest cash rather than dishonest professions of love to obtain their first sexual experiences.

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