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May 25, 2010

Looks, Men, Women: Blah, Blah, Blah

Amazing article:

Since the Stone Age, he explains, men and women have had different attitudes towards sex. Men can pass on their genes with very little risk – all they need is a fertile woman.

But it's different for women, because pregnancy is incredibly risky. What women need is a man who looks like a good provider – better still, who looks like a proven provider.

So let's think about our Stone Age man and woman. If he's going to settle down, and stop playing the field, he wants one thing above all – a woman who looks fertile. More than that, he wants a woman who looks as if she'll be fertile for many years to come. In other words, he might consider being a provider and protector, as long as his mate looks young, fertile and unblemished.

And now consider his mate. What does she want? Not just a man who is a good hunter and a good fighter, but a man who has a track record as a hunter and fighter. In other words, an older man. And this is not only true of Stone Age couples. In a survey conducted by David Buss, 10,000 people, in 37 cultures, were polled. 'In all 37 cultures included in the international study on choosing a mate,' writes Buss, 'women prefer men who are older than they are.'

Now I'm getting close to understanding why women are so critical of their bodies. Since prehistoric times they have had a hard-wired link to how they look. For tens of thousands of years it was crucial; it could be the difference between having a protector and not having one – between life and death, even.

For men it's not the same at all. The odd wrinkle or grey hair doesn't matter. Hell, it might even be an advantage. As long as you're good at throwing spears and building shelters, you'll be fine.

Twenty thousand years on, what has changed? Well, as David Buss points out, it's unlikely that a Stone Age man would have seen 'hundreds or even dozens of attractive women in that environment'. But now, when he looks at a Playboy centrefold, he is seeing a woman who has competed with thousands of other women for the part – not only that, he's seeing the best picture out of thousands.

And it's not just centrefolds, is it? Just look at newsreaders – mostly, it's a pretty girl and a grey-haired man. Message to men: relax. Message to women: panic! And then there are the girl groups, and the short-skirted girl on Countdown, and even the characters in the Harry Potter films, where the boys are allowed to look like geeks but the girl must look like a model.

As the art critic John Berger wrote: 'Men look at women. Women watch themselves being looked at. This determines not only the relations of men to women, but the relation of women to themselves.' It's a tough one, isn't it?

Surely guys can understand that, at least. If it happened to us, we'd have a meltdown, too.

The comments are interesting. Two that jumped out at me:

'For men the holy grail is within reach – you just need to get fit...'

That does not explain the steady rise in retail sales of male cosmetic products and, more recently, the rising interest in cosmetic surgery for men.

Gee. Let's think about that one for a moment.

Traditionally we're told that men are hard wired to look at other women and to desire sex with them even when they're in an exclusive relationship. Now some might see a lurking incentive or two in there, especially for women who are hard wired to value monogamous relationships. We are also told that women only care about their appearance because the female of the species is by nature insecure, vain and shallow.

Riiiiiiiiiiiight.

Of course as another commenter points out, there are a few problems with the "Vanity, thy name is woman!" theory:

Women know that men are only interested in women who are thin and attractive. That's why they put so much pressure on themselves to live up to the ideal of female physical perfection presented in beauty magazines. Even if they have a man, they fear losing him if they are no longer attractive.

Men, on the other hand, generally attract women because of their wealth, status and power. Looks have very little to do with it, especially over the age of 25. Thus, straight men do not feel the pressure to conform to a prescribed ideal of male beauty. Ergo, most straight men over the age of 25 are overweight and out of shape - but have no trouble finding women to sleep with / date.

I am a gay man, so my observations come from an entirely disinterested perspective.

Gay men put a lot of pressure on themselves to look good because they know other gay men will not be interested unless they are gym-toned and well-dressed.

So are women who work hard to look good insecure, or do they just understand market forces? The older I get, the more value I see in examining the adaptive value of male and female behaviors that cause conflict and misunderstanding. While I'm not a big fan of rigid stereotypes, is it really reasonable to assume that people do things we don't understand/agree with for no reason (the old, "He/she only acts that way b/c men/women are insane/irrational/overemotional/not reasonable like I am").

What's interesting to me is the area of overlap. Today women are completing school in record numbers. We have careers, in most cases, before we marry and have children. This makes pregnancy a lot less risky because for the first time we can support ourselves and any children we might bear, if need be. That reduces the value of a man's earning potential and forces him, if he wants to win the best quality female (however he defines that), to bring additional qualities to the table.

I'm often bemused when I hear men go on about how women only care about the size of a man's wallet. When I fell in love with my husband, it was tremendously important to me that he have integrity and be dependable because when a woman is pregnant or has small children, she makes herself enormously vulnerable in a way I don't think a lot of men understand. His earning power was not something I even thought of. My assumption was that if he was dependable, he'd keep a roof over our heads if I needed to stay home and care for our children. But I also thought of wage earning as a shared and negotiated responsibility neither of us could unilaterally delegate away.

I still view it that way.

Wouldn't it be funny if we were heading towards a world where men and women will have to compete on the same full range of human qualities (looks, brains, character, sex appeal) rather than two divergent and gender specific sets of standards? Do happily married couples already select their mates this way, or is it more a case of happily married couples having compatible (or at least not conflicting) criteria?

There are some indications that mating preferences are not rigidly hard wired - that men and women evaluate trade offs differently as the range of possible outcomes changes.

How much of what we think we know is biological hard wiring and how much is intelligent adaptation? Is technology encouraging us to make more informed choices or pandering to our worst instincts? Discuss amongst yourselves.

Posted by Cassandra at May 25, 2010 08:51 AM

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Comments

He's gotta be able to open jars. That's non-negotiable. It's a plus if he can reach the top shelves.

Posted by: Texan99 at May 25, 2010 10:27 AM

All I know is, my boys can be up and out of the house to school in 30 minutes. That includes a shower.

Meanwhile, the parents of little girls are waking them up as much as 2 hours ahead of time, to be sure they have time to wash and dry their hair.

For little girls, getting out of the house is a big production involving careful scrutiny of their clothing choice and coiffure every morning before they go to school, much less church or someplace special. They spend more time learning to control their looks than on any other subject.

We don't need evolution to explain the difference in attitude about looks between contemporary heterosexual men and women.

Posted by: valerie at May 25, 2010 10:42 AM

He's gotta be able to open jars. That's non-negotiable. It's a plus if he can reach the top shelves.

Heh :)

Those are two things I absolutely do ask my husband to do for me (I'm more inclined to climb up on something to get to those top shelves but years of being fussed at, in combination with advancing age, are beginning to teach me that a man who can reach things I can't is someone to be treasured).

Posted by: Cassandra at May 25, 2010 10:43 AM

...my boys can be up and out of the house to school in 30 minutes. That includes a shower....For little girls, getting out of the house is a big production involving careful scrutiny of their clothing choice and coiffure every morning before they go to school, much less church or someplace special. They spend more time learning to control their looks than on any other subject.

Several of my friends had girls and I can remember being bemused by the copious time spent styling hair and choosing color coordinated barrettes/ribbons/geegaws. I wasn't raised that way and had no prior experience with that sort of thing.

I grew up in a family with one boy and one girl. As a little girl, my Mom had to catch me and braid my hair. I didn't care what it looked like really and spent little to no time worrying about my clothes either. I just wanted to be outside climbing trees or riding my bike or fishing.

When I turned 11 or 12 and began to notice boys, all that changed. I began paying attention to the way women looked - their hair and makeup and clothes. And I felt a lot of pressure to be beautiful, which was unfortunate because I have never been one of those women who is naturally pretty.

As a little girl I never felt I had to compete with girly girls. They were different creatures. I didn't want to be like them - it was almost like they were creatures from a different planet.

When I began to notice boys, it was quite plain what they cared about and I adjusted my behavior accordingly. And it worked - I never sat home alone.

But looks weren't everything - they were more like a bar one had to surmount. My friends were all much prettier than I was, but I never noticed that they had any more luck with boys than I did. What did make an impression on me very early on was that boys were extremely cruel to girls they thought were ugly or flat chested and fell all over themselves being nice to pretty girls even if they had hateful personalities. But the niceness didn't mean they liked you as a person. It wasn't real.

What that taught me was two things:

1. Looks are very important to a lot of boys - much more important than personality.

2. Hell would freeze over before I'd give the time of day to the type of boy who treats girls that way.

I think I was lucky in a way in that I grew up having boys as close friends - friends I could talk to about almost anything. So I knew that even though a lot of guys spend way too much time telling each other and the world that men are all a**holes (and thus we can't blame them for acting like jerks - they're just doing what comes naturally!), most guys are decent, smart, and worth knowing.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 25, 2010 11:07 AM

"...and forces him, if he wants to win the best quality female (however he defines that), to bring additional qualities to the table."

Is that good, bad, or sideways? It explains your PUA-types, who are bringing the 'additional quality' of emotional manipulation (or possibly physical good looks, although to judge from the websites we looked at that doesn't appear to be the case); it may or may not explain the success of the man who is bringing stability and honor, as those things were already strongly linked to economic success. After all, there is lots of money in the world; the question people with money have is whom they can trust to manage it.

Posted by: Grim at May 25, 2010 11:27 AM

Is that good, bad, or sideways?

I don't know, Grim. I suspect that depends on whether the selection criteria support stable marriages or not. For instance, a lot of studies have found that the happiest marriages feature a women who is more attractive than the man (probably minimizes his incentive to stray? Who knows why).

So in that case, if this were true, biology mediates for stability. If more bargaining power is used foolishly by women, OTOH, it may not be good. I can see both arguments.

It explains your PUA-types, who are bringing the 'additional quality' of emotional manipulation (or possibly physical good looks, although to judge from the websites we looked at that doesn't appear to be the case);

Interesting argument, though "emotional manipulation" strikes me as a dishonest mode of competition (cheating, if you will). And yes, I'd say that's equally true of women who are emotionally manipulative.

Either way, where's the "value added" for the woman? This doesn't see like the man is offering value, but rather that he's found a way to game (well now isn't it interesting that word comes up) the process.

...it may or may not explain the success of the man who is bringing stability and honor, as those things were already strongly linked to economic success. After all, there is lots of money in the world; the question people with money have is whom they can trust to manage it.

Excellent point, and quite possibly one reason I never considered my husband's earning potential.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 25, 2010 11:39 AM

On the stability and honor thing: also one major reason I have been disinclined to cheat.

Rightly or wrongly, after 30+ years I trust my husband. Over the same period, my opinion of men in general has declined considerably, though I still believe there are plenty of good men out there.

In all fairness, my general opinion of women has declined as well. This may just be a case of youthful illusions supplanted by sad experience.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 25, 2010 11:42 AM

The problem with figuring out what men find attractive in a woman and then devoting hours every day to looking that way is (1) you'll never get those hours back and (2) you'll be selecting for men who want something inexplicable and alien to you. I found it worked better to select for men who liked the way I looked already. (If I was going to change myself to be more attractive, I was better off changing things I cared about in ways that I agreed were an improvement.) Even if I drop dead today, I figure I'm already ahead by years in terms of time not wasted.

Posted by: Texan99 at May 25, 2010 11:47 AM

You may well be right. I don't think it's quite that simple, though.

I don't think I ever spent hours trying to look better, but a few minutes a day spent on that doesn't strike me as an unreasonable trade off :p

Case in point: my Mom rarely if ever wore makeup and when her hair started to go grey, she didn't color it. OTOH, she always dressed very nicely and does care about her appearance. And my Dad takes great pride in going out with her after 50+ years of marriage.

I don't dress up every day to work at home, but when I go into the office I dress differently and make more of an effort. I do so for several reasons, not the least of which being that doing so confers tangible benefits that smooth my way. Both men and women do take personal appearance into account - they note the way people dress and comport themselves.

Does this make sense? In a way I think it does. Certainly that's why I taught both my sons to iron a shirt properly and shine their shoes, and why I instinctively thought better of employees who were neat and well groomed. Care in one area often (but not always) implies diligence and attention to detail as well as social awareness.

So, while I definitely agree that we place too high an importance on appearance where women are concerned, I also see some of the reasons why this may make some sense.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 25, 2010 11:56 AM

I have thought for some time that many women view their appearance as a work of art -- and that art for art's sake is equally important to them as the effect on others, including both men and women.

I enjoy art.

Posted by: levi from queens at May 25, 2010 12:26 PM

"What did make an impression on me very early on was that boys were extremely cruel to girls they thought were ugly or flat chested and fell all over themselves being nice to pretty girls even if they had hateful personalities. But the niceness didn't mean they liked you as a person. It wasn't real."

Most of this is due to social pressure and the lack of a single Alpha leader in their school pack hierarchy.

Once you have a recognized leader, recognized by everyone, then everyone will have to toe the line. If the leader decides an ugly girl should be ostracized or gives signals that it is okay to verbally abuse her, that is what the group followers will do. On the other hand, if the leader does the opposite and sends the message that you will have challenged him should you be mean to that flat chested her, now it is a different issue.

Now it isn't just attacking somebody weaker and more insecure than you are, which raises your status (in your eyes) but calling attention to yourself from the Big Guns which you never, ever, wanted to face.

The power of a leader is directly proportional to how many people he or she has influence over. It's something to talk smack about the police and blow a few of them up, when you are in Muslim gang land controlled by Mullahs that keep the police out of your enclave, entirely another thing when the local crime boss' daughter is married to the police officer you just assassinated.

Completely different issues there.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at May 25, 2010 12:30 PM

Beauty automatically attracts attention. In pack hierarchies, the weaker individuals gravitate towards and around pillars of authority. We humans notice this, especially at an early age where we are the most insecure. We see people moving towards this girl, and even if we don't like her, we wish to be liked or accepted by the group. So we move towards her as well, and then we start mimicking what others are doing.

Individuals are different, but society is designed to entrap and indoctrinate all individuals, not just some people. It doesn't always succeed, but it has a pretty good track record.

Unfortunately, human beings aren't born with an automatic instinct for how to be Alphas. Or rather, some of us are born that way, most are not. Most don't have the tools, the calm self-assurance, or the inner strength as children or as adults to be able to lead others.

Those that do, sometimes have other psychological issues they haven't dealt with, turning their natural gifts into weapons of terror.

The importance of leader and structure in human affairs is crucial. Individualism and group hierarchy are two sides of the same coin. Without the right individual, the hierarchy suffers from top to bottom. Without a proper and secure hierarchy, ALL individuals, regardless of merit or virtue, suffer, decay, become crazed, rabid, and mad. Eventually devolving into self-destructive tendencies and mutual fratricide.

Just how it is.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at May 25, 2010 12:35 PM

If the leader decides an ugly girl should be ostracized or gives signals that it is okay to verbally abuse her, that is what the group followers will do. On the other hand, if the leader does the opposite and sends the message that you will have challenged him should you be mean to that flat chested her, now it is a different issue.

A good point. I don't think it's just leaders, though. Anyone with some status will be able to exert some influence on the group. I don't think I was ever anything close to a leader when I was a kid but I did make it a priority to stick up for kids who were getting picked on because it was my perception that they got picked on primarily b/c they were viewed as friendless.

For some reason, I have always hated bullies. They are one of the only things that really make me furious.

I remember reading somewhere recently that kids who are bullied often turn out not to be terribly good at reading social signals. I think that's very true -- it matches what I've observed for decades. That's what makes it easy to pick on them - they aren't good at getting the support of other kids.


Posted by: Cassandra at May 25, 2010 12:50 PM

I have thought for some time that many women view their appearance as a work of art -- and that art for art's sake is equally important to them as the effect on others, including both men and women.

I think that's definitely true of many women, Levi. I know it is true of my Mom and my MIL. They both enjoy (and are good at) creating beauty all around them.

Beauty at its best celebrates what is healthy and strong and vigorous (and rare). It elevates the senses and lifts the spirits.

However, I know many women who don't care what their houses look like. That's not bad, but it's incomprehensible to me because I take great pleasure in beautiful surroundings. So I think it's the same creative instinct at work.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 25, 2010 12:55 PM

"Most of this is due to social pressure..."
"Individuals are different, but society is designed to entrap and indoctrinate all individuals..."

Of course it is, because humans (male or female) cannot possibly exist alone, outside of SOME group. Even if we're not talking about reproducing, just trying to exist, much less live, has always been extremely hazardous, both physically and mentally.

In fact, I believe that one of the signs we look for in a "leader" is the ability to think and act independently, seeming not to care what others think about you.

Posted by: cas at May 25, 2010 01:00 PM

It explains your PUA-types, who are bringing the 'additional quality' of emotional manipulation (or possibly physical good looks, although to judge from the websites we looked at that doesn't appear to be the case); - Grim

Interesting argument, though "emotional manipulation" strikes me as a dishonest mode of competition (cheating, if you will). And yes, I'd say that's equally true of women who are emotionally manipulative. - Cass

I don't think the "emotional manipulation" is the "additional quality" in and of itself. Rather it is simply the means by which the person fakes having those "additional qualities" (like confidence or leadership) that he doesn't actually possess.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at May 25, 2010 01:04 PM

I understand practical is attractive

And the choices made by early man

But I think the key is self-esteem

It works with the early man choice

And doesn't break with age

When the younger woman cares for the older man

When the older man is attracted to a young cutie

The self-esteem transforms to honor

For both

Which doesn't allow for infidelity

Or abandonment

Without total collapse of integrity and self-esteem

Headfirst into the abyss

With no salvation

Honor is stronger than love in determining action

And pity the people in cultures without it.

that was weird.
back to my usual self now, I suppose....

Posted by: tomg51 at May 25, 2010 01:57 PM

Actually I thought it was nice :)

Posted by: Cassandra at May 25, 2010 02:04 PM

Taking the PUA argument seriously, YAG, what they claim is that the emotional manipulation is in fact the thing that is attractive. That's not obviously wrong -- the idea is that PUAs will teach you (for a price) how to treat women in ways that will punch the reward/punishment buttons. These things are fairly reliable manipulators; if you can get their brain's reward circuits to fire, or their punishment circuits, you're causing them to dump chemicals that alter moods and drive behaviors in predictable ways.

It probably does work. My disdain for it doesn't arise from the idea that it isn't an effective way to manipulate young women. Rather, what bothers me is precisely that it is an effective way to manipulate young women -- it lets you treat them as if they didn't matter. In a sense, I suppose, "they" are letting you treat them that way insofar as their brain is part of "them," and is what is driving their consent to the abuse. That fact doesn't excuse the behavior, to my mind.

Love can make a fool of any of us. That's bad enough when we're honest fools. To use that power intentionally, for your own gratification and without regard for the harm it causes to others, that is wicked.

Posted by: Grim at May 25, 2010 02:04 PM

In fact, I believe that one of the signs we look for in a "leader" is the ability to think and act independently, seeming not to care what others think about you.

That's a very interesting insight.

When I was raising my boys, I spent a lot of time and effort trying to teach them to be independent minded.

I also (perhaps paradoxically) spend a lot of time and effort teaching them that we need human institutions - that we have duties to others. It is this last that I see almost no mention of in modern conservatism. It is all about the freedom.

There is very little talk of duty. I think a healthy society requires both a sense of duty and a love of freedom.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 25, 2010 02:07 PM

Love can make a fool of any of us. That's bad enough when we're honest fools. To use that power intentionally, for your own gratification and without regard for the harm it causes to others, that is wicked.

Well said, Grim.

I raised only sons but I watched little girls when my boys were young. It was instructive.

I think one of the most important things girls must be taught is not to be manipulative. It's not hard to manipulate boys - most girls figure that out early on. But girls are manipulated far more often than most men wish to admit.

Boys can be extremely manipulative. They just use different levers - the ones that work on girls. One of them is intimidation. Another is indifference/coldness.

To teach this as a technique is evil and I would say the same of anyone who taught women to use their skills to dominate men or bend men to their will.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 25, 2010 02:15 PM

I believe in duty. Duty to me does not imply support for institutions -- at least, not any particular institution. A man has a duty to defend the weak, uphold the right, protect the helpless, and many other duties besides.

If an institution is useful in that regard, he may well defend it and forward its interests. If it ceases to be, he might drive it to reform, or dispense with it. If it becomes harmful to those real duties, he might fight it or destroy it. This is as true for a church or a school as it is for a government.

Posted by: Grim at May 25, 2010 02:18 PM

I don't disagree, Grim.

I am not saying that duty is unconditional. But the fact of the matter is that most of us do receive real benefits from the human institutions around us.

We can choose to be freeloaders or we can acknowledge this and try and return value for value received.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 25, 2010 02:41 PM

My take on Pig Up Artists are different than the Ranger Up Artists.

I just wanted to put that out there for clarification. Just in case.

In terms of the market place, emotional manipulation is simply another way of saying social skills, perception, empathic abilities, and personal charisma.

These are simply tools, like the gun. It, in itself, is not evil or good. What makes it evil or good are the goals it is placed in service of and the actual consequences that result.

PUA, in the broader context, is a market force that fulfills the vacuum in which traditional manhood and the trial of adulthood has been obliterated from the memory of certain generations.

The best way to get rid of it is to replace it with something better that meets the needs of those people living in the vacuum.

Neil Strauss' inside look on PUAs serves as my primary source of information. From that, I could accurately analyze and judge all sorts of things. The fact that Strauss himself realizes some of the same things I did, but only after placing himself through a grueling voyage of self-discovery, helps. He has experience and mistakes on his side, I have theories and principles on mine.

Grim may lack access to sources of this level, but I don't think Grim's perception of PUA tactics are wrong. Rather, it is focused mostly on the negative reasons and goals that people use it for. Again, this is a market driven phenomenon, like illegal drugs. I don't vouch for their ethics. I simply claim that a tool or a drug is not in itself harmful or beneficial.

In terms of emotional manipulation, that term itself is loaded, and is analogous to Obama hypnotizing people without their consent. Supposedly hypnosis techniques are only allowed to certified doctors who swore to do no harm. These methods and techniques are never taught outside the professional realm. But we all know that "special techniques" and hiden martial arts techniques can't be kept secret forever. Especially not in the days of the internet or of the black market.

But that just proves my point. Hypnosis techniques can be used to help or harm. It just depends upon the user. Guns depend upon the user for harm or benefit. A person depending on the gun to make moral choices is going to wait a long time before the gun jumps up and "defends" that person, from evil.

the idea is that PUAs will teach you (for a price) how to treat women in ways that will punch the reward/punishment buttons. These things are fairly reliable manipulators; if you can get their brain's reward circuits to fire, or their punishment circuits, you're causing them to dump chemicals that alter moods and drive behaviors in predictable ways.

Grim is absolutely correct here.

There are some differences. Mainly, there are two types of Game, so to speak. The external game and the internal game. The external game essentially copies the routines of other people. The games or cons run by others are learned by you and then you try to reproduce it, without really understanding what principles those things were based upon. The internal game is designed to get you to work on yourself and what's inside, in order to build upon principles and then affect the external world according to a specific goal (successful mating rituals).

The external game, developed by some niche gurus and closet weird geniuses, tends to be overly technical but also proven by repetitious experimentation. The internal game is more subjective and prone to inadequate instruction (that's why you see cultures parroting ideals about manhood but never actually teaching what principles those things are based upon, they just Are) but it tends to work using the social network as support and thus reaches a lot more people.

The external game has techniques people must actively learn. It is an intellectual exercise. The passing on of manhood from one generation to the other was often through oral tradition and thus wasn't based upon understanding techniques, but simply following a tradition. If you did so and so in this environment, like your father, you'll be like your father.

Well, the problem is, the environment has changed. Technology has changed people's living conditions dramatically in a short period of time. Culture hasn't had enough time to develop a reformation of the concepts of manhood, especially when institutions were actively created to destroy a beneficial concept of manhood or of personal responsibility/integrity.

So now you have a vacuum where people are left adrift and so they latch unto whatever they think will guide them. Cults, Democrat party, Global Warming, Anti-war protests, etc.


I think the reason why the US Marine Corps is one of the institutions with still the highest rate of successful continuation of values is because the MC has both a principles orientated teaching course, as well as a course based upon tradition, AND a teaching course based upon Pure technique.

Learn the history of the Marine Corps. Learn principles such as valor and duty. Learn the actual technique of APPLYING those principles (more important than people may realize) via marksmanship training, physical training, combat training, actual combat, etc.

There's no vacuum there. The continuation from one generation to the next is smooth, smoother than the competition at least.

Marxist-Leninist, of course, has a similar quality program of indoctrination. They've been going on for hundreds of years, same as America and the Marine Corps. It was inevitable that we would clash sooner or later given the various factions' mutually incompatible philosophies.

Empathy and directly controlling other people's behavior and emotions is often times a vital necessity to leaders. PUA use it for personal benefit, but that's not what such tools were originally designed for. They were designed to deal with threats to the group, whether internal or external. If somebody was trying to disrupt the cohesion of the group and they were inside your social influence, then you had better directly "control" that person and then smooth away everybody's bad feelings.

For enemies, of course, it works slightly differently. Sometimes you should enrage your enemies, let them walk into your trap, then decapitate them. Sometimes you should calm down your enemies, because you want them to surrender without a fight. Sometimes you want to panic your enemies and get them to do stupid things to wear themselves out. It all depends. The ability to understand human emotion and directly manipulate it using certain actions, is crucial to any leader that seeks to discharge their responsibilities.

The price of failing to be better at manipulation, emotional or not, is for the enemy, internal and external to win. The leader loses his authority and power that he got from the group, and soon he loses his head. Game Over man. Try again in your next life.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at May 25, 2010 02:51 PM

In many respects, people have to choose the duty to which they will devote their life and energy to.

Duty cannot be simply given to them, except in cases of tradition where, literally, your blood is the glue holding together a group of people. There the duty exists from your blood and is tied to your very existence. You are who you are only because your family took on this duty, thus your very existence owes its fact to that duty.

You can still choose to opt out of that duty, but the consequences are normally very stark. Still, it is better for all concerned for specific individuals to choose the duty to which they will desire to discharge.

Grim has already seen some of the consequences of what happens when people don't get to make such a choice. I don't think he said anything good about it at the time.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at May 25, 2010 03:01 PM

This is also linked to promises. People should be careful of what they promise, because they don't want to foolishly make a promise, word it badly, and then find themselves in a situation where they have to 1. do evil or 2. break a promise.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at May 25, 2010 03:02 PM

Ymar, you're never going to get me to say that manipulating other people is moral in the context of a relationship :p

A relationship isn't an adversarial situation, but one that relies on partnership and trust. If the only way you can bribe your way into a partnership is by keeping the other person so off balance they can't think straight, I'm going to call you (generic you here, since I'm talking about PUA and not Ymar) dishonest. And weak. And contemptible.

Now the one thing I didn't have any problem with in the PUA lore is teaching men not to be controlled by their own emotions.

This is what these nitwits don't get. Whether you are a man or a woman, if your emotions are driving the bus, the object of your affections will sense this and run like helk.

Teaching men to control their emotions is good, just as many comparable programs (and there are comparable programs for women and I'm not referring to the so-called "female game") for women concentrate on the woman being satisfied with and confident about her own life so that she doesn't get swamped by her emotions. This is all good.

What I don't care for is the "do X to make her doubt herself/feel bad and you will be able to control her". That's manipulation, pure and simple.

I'm sure there are positive variations on "game" (dumb jargon term of the month). But Roissy ain't it. The guy has hostility and security issues that could independently power a small city.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 25, 2010 03:03 PM

"Rather, what bothers me is precisely that it is an effective way to manipulate young women -- it lets you treat them as if they didn't matter. In a sense, I suppose, "they" are letting you treat them that way insofar as their brain is part of "them," and is what is driving their consent to the abuse. That fact doesn't excuse the behavior, to my mind."

It is the same as hypnosis. Hypnosis essentially implants a suggestion into your unconscious mind so that you have no way to effectively resist (there are ways, but most people don't have them) that suggestion. The "suggestion" becomes truth to your mind and unless you consciously think about it, you will always assume it is true. You essentially, have no free will on this issue, because it slipped through without you ever noticing it.

People can be told to act like a chicken because that command is absolute truth. There are no social values, no conscious values, no thoughts, no free will to resist doing it.

You have no resistance. What they tell you, becomes your truth, once you are in a hypnotic state.

So yes, it could be argued that once they wake up, they are now their own person and nothing bad happened. But the reality is, there is a Gap of Power between the hypnotist and the person being hypnotized. A trust, essentially, that the person being hypnotized willingly goes into a state where he is totally vulnerable, trusting that he won't be implanted with things Harmful to him.

But a woman or a potential voter, when they are hypnotized and they don't know it, that is beyond simply a "gap in power". Now you have an imbalance in power to such a degree that injustice will automatically happen, regardless of what anyone wanted. It will happen, regardless of how "good" people's intentions are. The imbalance in power is too much, too strong. One faction has too much power over another. That faction can simply decree the death of another and they won't get any harmful benefits. Indeed, they will be rewarded for doing so. Imbalance of power on that scale is not something "normal" people implicitly understand, because they themselves Lack such power over most other entities.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at May 25, 2010 03:08 PM

In many respects, people have to choose the duty to which they will devote their life and energy to.
Duty cannot be simply given to them, except in cases of tradition where, literally, your blood is the glue holding together a group of people. There the duty exists from your blood and is tied to your very existence.

I like that.

I believe duty is mostly self imposed, but I also think that it can arise from obligation (as in the case where a society that has protected you is suddenly threatened - suddenly your security, which you and others took for granted - requires members of the society to pay their debt forward).

Conservatives don't like the draft but we understand why it exists.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 25, 2010 03:09 PM

I hear what you say about ironing shirts and shining shoes, Cassandra, and I don't disagree. One's public dress has symbolic meaning that deserves attention, even if I personally have very little natural patience for it and go through the motions out of necessity. And I don't doubt that you've never been among the crowd that devoted hours a day to primping. I was responding mostly to Valerie's comment about the little girls getting up two hours early.

There's a long list of things I'd devote two hours a day to if necessary, but they've never included cosmetic rituals designed to attract the attention of men. I love men, and will go to great lengths to spend time with some of them and try to make them happy, but they're going to have to be men whose attention is captured by other means. I can't blame them if what catches their eye is curls and hair ribbons -- chaque a son gout -- but they'll be happier putting their effort toward other women, and so will I.

Now I do completely understand the value of putting time and effort into fitness and health as an aid to attractiveness. My failures in that area are purely the result of negligence, not conviction.

Posted by: Texan99 at May 25, 2010 03:30 PM

I agree with you too about duty, or at least I think I do. I believe our duties exist independently of us, but are meaningless unless we voluntarily assume them. That is, we're free but we're not unobligated. My strong libertarian bent has to do with my beliefs about the limitations of human institutions like government, not a belief that people don't have duties, including duties of obedience.

Posted by: Texan99 at May 25, 2010 03:34 PM

"A relationship isn't an adversarial situation"

As I mentioned before, manipulation is a morally loaded word. Meaning, it has connotations. I'm not trying to change its definition. I just don't use it like some other people use it.

In other words, I can use the same techniques in emotional manipulation, except I can do it by, say, making someone feel better. I can ease their grief. I can boost their morale. I can lift them up from soul crushing despair and get them to grab hold of life anew.

All are methods at manipulating emotion, when you don't pay attention to what society says is moral or immoral terminology. Because I've seen a lot of politically correct terminology, I'm not too much affected by negatively loaded words like racism or manipulation or the "guns are evil" cult. Words mean whatever people use them to mean. It might be nice if words had a fixed meaning, but that's only true in a certain socio-economic sphere. What this means is that I am not affected by what terms other people use. They can use terms like racist or manipulation or whatever, and it'll only mean what they choose to mean by those words. I don't need to emulate them, however.

Also, it is useful to me in studying other cultures and languages not to get a fixed idea of what a word should mean. Especially when dealing with translations. Often times the only way to understand a foreign concept is to get out of the box and combine a whole slew of sometimes contradictory English words and concepts together, and then visualize the foreign concept replacing that mish mash.

I've been doing this for years. It has caught on in my other habits.

Now the one thing I didn't have any problem with in the PUA lore is teaching men not to be controlled by their own emotions.

That would fall normally into Internal Game, where Alpha habits are taught like "don't show your emotions". It is fine to feel them and be upset, but don't let it control your outward behavior such that it disturbs others or lets them know you are feeling something bad.

I'm going to call you (generic you here, since I'm talking about PUA and not Ymar) dishonest.

I wouldn't call it dishonest, but again, I don't think it matters. Because dishonest can be just as good a term to describe the Imbalance of Power I described above as anything else. Is Obama hypnotizing voters into thinking him a GOD, dishonest? I'm not sure whether it is or is not. I do know something else though.

Whatever goes on, it tends to end up the same way anyways.

Whether you are a man or a woman, if your emotions are driving the bus, the object of your affections will sense this and run like helk.

Michael Yon is probably still in that bus with the monkey driving. Then again, so are Americans, except Obama's at the wheel.

What I don't care for is the "do X to make her doubt herself/feel bad and you will be able to control her". That's manipulation, pure and simple.

I prefer to call that particular example abusing your power over someone that has given you an implicit trust as part of the social compact. A person should not violate the social compact and then expect the compact to protect them. I believe that those who give the order to fire, should themselves be prepared to be fired upon by others.

Anything else is equivalent to what the Spartans called those who threw down their spears and shields and fled before the foe.

I'm sure there are positive variations on "game" (dumb jargon term of the month).

Heh, one of the benefits of not being tied down in any particular socio-economic setting is that I don't seem to use any particular set of jargon exclusively. Ebonics, Ghetto slang, foreign country slang, cursing, political "debate", whatever, they all seem to have their own particular flavors. One I simply accept and integrate for my own use, should I need it when I am in a setting where such things are common place.


But Roissy ain't it. The guy has hostility and security issues that could independently power a small city.

I bet that's why Obama is letting hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil leak out into the Gulf of Mexico. He knows that we can be powered by millions of Roissies!


Posted by: Ymarsakar at May 25, 2010 03:36 PM

As for PUAs or anyone else who manipulates by exploiting people's self-doubt, feh. They're not hard to detect and, upon detection, to be shunned. If I found that approach starting to work on me, I'd go off and do some serious work on my psyche before I turned into a Nazi and did some real damage.

Posted by: Texan99 at May 25, 2010 03:38 PM

I can't say too much about why conservatives don't talk about duty. What I can say is that duty and obligation are presented to people, young or old, as being something that is not of their free will. It is imposed by external forces, like robber barons or institutional racists or any number of other "harmful' organizations.

I can't list for you the various ways they did this, but that is what I have observed.

They have taught people, children and adults, that duty and obligation are things that will harm them. That will enslave them. That will make the blacks back into field hands and whites back to their poor ancestors that couldn't buy a private jet whenever they wanted to.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at May 25, 2010 03:43 PM

If I found that approach starting to work on me, I'd go off and do some serious work on my psyche before I turned into a Nazi and did some real damage.

The reason why it works is because it is a social setting.

A person in a lower rank on the hierarchy or with a lower status, can derive protection and other benefits from joining forces with another person of higher rank.

Distill this into a male-female relationship and you have what is normally called marriage or the mating ritual.

Thus, a strong person like Sarah Palin, both a leader as well as many other diversified roles in which she wears many hats, cannot be influenced by social methods. You can't get her to give up something she wants, simply because you convince her that she should or that it is in her benefit to do so. She decides that.

You can negotiate with her, but negotiation automatically implies that both of you have something the other person wants. While not always equal, at least it is not the victory decreeing the terms of the vanquished.

A person, thus, confident in their own abilities will not simply be cowed or influenced by a PUA. Because, to be honest, if you have certain skills or resources that the PUA wants, then he has to demonstrate real worth to you. Not just claims and words, but actual behavior. Actual money on the table. Actual resources. If he doesn't have them, if he just claimed he had them, then he isn't worth the time. And because you have your own resources, you are not "forced" into dealing with people you don't have to deal with.

It is easy to tell the fakes from the real, because you just call them on it. If they got the stuff, they can show it. If they don't, it will become very obvious soon enough.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at May 25, 2010 03:51 PM

Is that good, bad, or sideways?-G

Sideways is my answer.

Human abilities are nice, but I think we all know by now that not every human uses those abilities for good.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at May 25, 2010 03:53 PM

As for PUAs or anyone else who manipulates by exploiting people's self-doubt, feh. They're not hard to detect and, upon detection, to be shunned. If I found that approach starting to work on me, I'd go off and do some serious work on my psyche before I turned into a Nazi and did some real damage.

Heh :)

Women who are impressed by that sort of nonsense usually don't have the example of a father who loves them or respects women.

My Dad was the yardstick against which potential suitors were measured. They are preying on damaged women; ones who were never taught to respect themselves. Sad.

As much as I'd like to credit my own good judgment for having had good dating relationships, a lot of the credit goes to my parents. I knew what I was looking for, and everything else paled by comparison.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 25, 2010 04:01 PM

I forgot to describe the vital link between Sarah Palin and why the psychological warfare version of PUA works.

There are generally two choices when dealing with other people that you want stuff from. Make yourself stronger so you can negotiate for stuff from others. Or make others weak so that you can force them to give you their stuff or make them so afraid they will give you their stuff anyways.

I will let you guess which method Sarah Palin's enemies took against her.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at May 25, 2010 04:02 PM

Ymar:

I think when you're talking about manipulation, motive matters. To me, manipulation is when you use others for your own ends. Crying to get your way (if you're a woman) is manipulation. Withholding sex as a means of pressuring or punishing your partner is manipulation: you are using your partner's emotions to weaken his resolve.

In the same way making a woman feel insecure so she'll be easier to control or being passive-aggressive (something guys do as much as women) rather than openly stating what you want is manipulative.

In the example you used (lifting someone's spirits or cheering them up) you aren't using their feelings to make them weaker - you are actually helping them to feel stronger and happier.

Maybe we have different definitions?

Posted by: Cassandra at May 25, 2010 04:10 PM

There are generally two choices when dealing with other people that you want stuff from. Make yourself stronger so you can negotiate for stuff from others. Or make others weak so that you can force them to give you their stuff or make them so afraid they will give you their stuff anyways.

Bingo :)

As I said before, I have no problem with a man or woman becoming stronger or more adept at understanding the other sex. That's just plain smart.

It's using an understanding of the other sex's weaknesses to wear them down/get your way that is morally problematic.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 25, 2010 04:12 PM

This is related to the issue of fighting fair in marriage.

I think this is arguably one of the most important skills - it's not right or fair to aim for your partner's weak spots in order to win. That's a betrayal of the trust that revealed those weaknesses in the first place.

But there's nothing wrong with honestly advocating for what you want. In fact, I think that's essential if you are both to be happy. Waiting for the other person to read your mind is a non starter. People have to take responsibility for their own happiness.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 25, 2010 04:17 PM

In the example you used (lifting someone's spirits or cheering them up) you aren't using their feelings to make them weaker - you are actually helping them to feel stronger and happier.

Maybe we have different definitions?

Not different definitions. You have one definition, meaning a specific moral connotation to manipulation. But I use manipulation as a moral neutral, related to the tool philosophy.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at May 25, 2010 05:13 PM

There are reasons for that, but I they tend to go on a long tangent after awhile.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at May 25, 2010 05:16 PM

Women who are impressed by that sort of nonsense usually don't have the example of a father who loves them or respects women.

Absolutely. I've seen this firsthand with one of my own friends. As a corollary, the person I'm thinking of desperately craved male approval and was willing to put up with some pretty demeaning treatment from her boyfriends in order to get such approval (or what she *thought* was approval). It was more than a little disturbing. In fact, watching her was one of the things that made me sit down and really think about just how vital a strong, caring father is to a daughter's psyche (answer: VERY.)

Posted by: colagirl at May 25, 2010 05:22 PM

A Knockout person!

I'll leave the surprise for later.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at May 25, 2010 05:28 PM

More important even than taking responsibility for your own happiness (which after all other people can help you with) is taking responsibility for what you want (which is totally on you). You can want things and be content to do without them, if there's a good reason. But trying to get other people to give you things you're not willing to say you want is a recipe for confusion and conflict. For me, that's the real definition of passive-aggressiveness. You don't have to demand insistently, and you don't have to pitch a fit if you don't get it, but you should be willing to own up to the desire. I hate to see people sort of negating a desire in anticipation of its being thwarted, as in "I won't lose 'cause I won't play." I include myself in "people," of course.

There will be situations in which we've got to be indirect to get what we want, but I hope they'll be situations involving more or less inimical strangers. It should happen less and less with people the more we love and trust them. What a pleasure it is to deal with people who aren't afraid to face what they want, to ask for it clearly, and to relinquish it gracefully, if necessary, without pretending they didn't really want it in the first place!

Posted by: Texan99 at May 25, 2010 05:32 PM

Men, on the other hand, generally attract women because of their wealth, status and power. Looks have very little to do with it, especially over the age of 25.

I noticed that they left something critical out.

Fertility was based upon different standards depending upon what was going on at the time.

If you were nomads, then European fat women as the ideal of beauty .... probably wouldn't be your thing.

If you are in Berkley or California beaches, then probably European fat women as the ideal of beauty wouldn't be your ideal of beauty. But to the Europeans who faced hunger and starvation? Fat was a sign that you could support yourselves and thus your children, that your children wouldn't miscarry cause of lack of nutrition, at least.

The same is true for men. I mean, seriously, if a fat man above year 25 was seen in Ghenghis Khan's hordes, it would be a sign that they were going to eat him, not let him fight on horseback for them.

These things really shouldn't be looked at from a post-modern perspective. Our lenses are more distorted, perhaps, than most other times and places.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at May 25, 2010 05:34 PM

... trying to get other people to give you things you're not willing to say you want is a recipe for confusion and conflict. For me, that's the real definition of passive-aggressiveness.

I think men and women (in general) do passive-aggressiveness differently. What you just described is a pretty good description of the typically female style of passive aggressiveness.

Male passive aggressiveness is just as infuriating.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 25, 2010 05:43 PM

There are reasons for that, but I they tend to go on a long tangent after awhile.

Me too, Ymar :)

Posted by: Cassandra at May 25, 2010 05:45 PM

Btw, how come women can't knock out men with the Stun Power like in that video?

Posted by: Ymarsakar at May 25, 2010 05:48 PM

Male passive aggressiveness is just as infuriating.

They probably, really, just forgot about it.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at May 25, 2010 05:49 PM

Oh, we can.

We just do it differently :p

Posted by: Cassandra at May 25, 2010 05:49 PM

Ah, a hiden jutsu (hidden technique).

Posted by: Ymarsakar at May 25, 2010 05:54 PM

They probably, really, just forgot about it.

Having raised two sons and lived in an all male household for over 30 years, I can testify that boys and men are quite good are remembering things that matter to them :p

And women are pretty good at detecting the difference between occasionally forgetting (as something we all do once in a while) and continually forgetting (as a tactic).

This is an area where I think men unintentionally cause the very reaction they're trying to avoid. I think the same thing happens with female passive aggressiveness - the guy usually ends up ignoring you because he's tired of having to beg you to tell him what the hell you want from him :p

One thing the spouse and I are getting better at is making a joke out of it when one or the other of us is being annoying. That takes the sting out of admitting you're wrong and turns it into something you can both laugh at b/c you know you both have annoying quirks.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 25, 2010 05:57 PM

I get the part about gay men trying to attract other gay men by whatever.

What I don't get. What I have never gotten is, what is up with the Voice Register effect?

How the heck are they going to say to my face, "you can't tell that I am gay" when they are in that high pitched falsetto?

Posted by: Ymarsakar at May 25, 2010 06:03 PM

Posted by: Ymarsakar at May 25, 2010 06:11 PM

I can't keep a straight face watching this.

link

Posted by: Ymarsakar at May 25, 2010 06:23 PM

For an example of an alternative method of using hypnosis, watch this.

Link

Certain physical actions received through the visual receptor can create an anchoring point and reproduce a physical "setting" for the observing person. Thus if you see people get knocked out, are yourself knocked out by them dropping your blood pressure on the side of your neck, then when they do the "anchor move" on you, your brain can replicate the exact situation because "you believe" it had happened.

This is in some ways psychosomatic pain. A person that believes a gunshot will always produce a wound and that the wound will hurt like hell, can have a gun fired at him, miss, and he would still drop telling you that he was shot cause he can "feel" it.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at May 25, 2010 06:53 PM

The mass hypnosis thing starts at 2:40.

Dim Mak, as far as I can see, is simply applying pressure on your nerve or blood vessels in order to drop the blood pressure to the brain. This causes gray out, black out, unconsciousness, and so forth.

It's actually not as "safe" as may be advertised. People with medical conditions can be shipped to the morgue due that.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at May 25, 2010 07:01 PM

Ah, George Dillman.

It's wise to be suspect of those offering secret techniques, including Dim Mak. That said, it's not just a matter of blood pressure; some of those things are meant to work physically, e.g, by breaking plaque in the carotid free to intrude into the brain.

I doubt they work.

Posted by: Grim at May 25, 2010 07:34 PM

I doubt you can reproduce an aneurysm specifically.

If it happens, it would be an accident.

Plaque off the carotid sounds like an overly complicated explanation.

The amount of force they are exerting is too small for maximum effect. It's better to use the ulna bone of the forearm and move your body through him or drop at an angle at the point/time of contact.

People on drugs or maybe even adrenaline cocktails, don't tend to drop from a simple lowering of blood to the brain from one side of the neck. It's got to be either both carotids shut off at once, or a massive systemic shock to that side of the neck to get any real effect. He might not go unconscious even with that, but it's enough that his head gets turned downwards for the follow up.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at May 25, 2010 08:34 PM

A really funny review of Dillman's seminar

You didn't happen to meet this guy while you were in China, did ya, Grim?

Posted by: Ymarsakar at May 25, 2010 08:58 PM

He's gotta be able to open jars. That's non-negotiable. It's a plus if he can reach the top shelves.

Well, then, thank God I was born in an era where technology has made it possible for me to open even the most tightly sealed jars with various tools, undoubtedly invented by a man of modest physical strength. Of course, on those rare occasions I fail to open a jar and then Mrs. SW manages the trick, we both realize it is only because I first loosened it.
In a more serious vein, social science articles typically treat men and women as mere impulse ridden characters who have limited ability to do what Cassandra suggests, ie use intelligent adaptation. Part of becoming an adult is recognizing one's own limitations and the limitations of others, and accepting something less than perfection in a mate (with the obvious exception of Mrs. SW, who remains perfect 34 years later.)

Posted by: ShrinkWrapped at May 25, 2010 09:18 PM

Seriously, I don't think I was looking for someone who could provide for me financially, but I was alert to signs that he wanted to settle down, and it was important that he have a sense of the ridiculous that was compatible with mine. I wanted an ally.

Posted by: Texan99 at May 25, 2010 09:34 PM

People get hypnotized and conned all the time.

Obama isn't so much special nor the industries catering to female perfection, so much as they become all ubiquitous and cannot be replaced.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at May 25, 2010 09:42 PM

In a more serious vein, social science articles typically treat men and women as mere impulse ridden characters who have limited ability to do what Cassandra suggests, ie use intelligent adaptation.

I've always wondered at all these studies that use college students as a proxy for a random sampling of men or women. I don't see how it can be smart to extrapolate from a sample with such limited life experience (and no experience of marriage, parenting, or truly long term relationships - all of which have a huge effect on the way men and women behave and see the world)? The converse is true as well.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 25, 2010 09:44 PM

College students get paid peanuts. That matters hah

Posted by: Ymarsakar at May 25, 2010 10:12 PM

"As long as you're good at throwing spears and building shelters, you'll be fine."

Fortunately, I've got that covered.

Wouldn't it be funny if we were heading towards a world where men and women will have to compete on the same full range of human qualities (looks, brains, character, sex appeal) rather than two divergent and gender specific sets of standards?

Works for me...I've got all of that covered too. ;-)

Posted by: camojack at May 26, 2010 12:36 AM

Thus, straight men do not feel the pressure to conform to a prescribed ideal of male beauty. Ergo, most straight men over the age of 25 are overweight and out of shape - but have no trouble finding women to sleep with / date.

Excuse me?

Posted by: BillT at May 26, 2010 02:03 AM

This is probably why you don't want the government to be the only ones handling the guns.

Check it out Bill and Grim. Should remind you of those "elite" trained SWAT teams.

Link

Posted by: Ymarsakar at May 26, 2010 08:32 AM

Never knew a DEA guy -- and I've known a bunch of 'em -- who could handle a firearm properly if he hadn't learned how in the military.

Posted by: BillT at May 26, 2010 10:29 AM

I'm the only one in this room, professional enough to <BOOM!>

MEDIC!

Posted by: bthun at May 26, 2010 11:27 AM

My mother, who has been a schoolteacher most of her life, has taught at every grade level from kindergarten to college. Once, while teaching kindergarten, she took her students for a walk in the woods behind the school.

She found a caterpillar, and picked it up to show them. While delivering her lecture on it, she said, "But if you encounter a caterpillar in the woods, don't you pick it up, because some of them bite and only teacher people know which... YEOW!!"

Nemesis laughs. :)

Posted by: Grim at May 26, 2010 11:30 AM

The funny as hell part is when he tries to walk it off.

Like nothing had happened. "Listen, Listen"

I guess that's one way to "imprint" a lesson on your audience. Scare them half to death with adrenaline and I bet they'll remember you!

Posted by: Ymarsakar at May 26, 2010 11:54 AM

Not only did Obama kick Arizona in the teeth when Calderon got a standing ovation for his Mexican nationalist speech, but he now chose not to go to Arlington.

But people still support Obama, cause that's how dictators get power.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at May 26, 2010 12:37 PM

"...because some of them bite and only teacher people know which... YEOW!!"

Thus taking the concept of "having a green thumb" to another level...

Posted by: BillT at May 26, 2010 01:39 PM

So women talk about relationships and color coordinated outfits.

What are men supposed to talk about, again?

Posted by: Ymarsakar at May 26, 2010 01:42 PM

I think it is cars and beer.

Posted by: Pachysandra at May 26, 2010 01:45 PM

Posted by: Pachysandra at May 26, 2010 01:45 PM

You were supposed to use that tag with Chillin'...

Posted by: BillT at May 26, 2010 01:54 PM

"Not only did Obama kick Arizona in the teeth when Calderon got a standing ovation for his Mexican nationalist speech, but he now chose not to go to Arlington."
Ymar,

Teh WON will be laying a wreath at the tomb of The Unknown Grifter in Chi-town this weekend. In his unprecedented and unexpected judgment, he supposes it's all good.

Posted by: bthun at May 26, 2010 03:24 PM

Despite getting degrees and jobs in unprecedented numbers, women still make less than women. Most recent studies given any credit blame this not on discrimination but on the fact that women still (1) drop out of the job market for some time period after having kids, (2) go part-time after having kids, or (3) shift priorities from advancement to predictable work to ensure sufficient time with the family.

Some would suggest this is part of that genetic tendency of women to nest. If that is so, it will forever prevent men and women from evaluating mates the same way. The average woman may be able to care for her young without a man around, but most don't want to, nor should they.

Posted by: Hummer at May 26, 2010 03:38 PM

...women still make less than women.

a. "...women still make less than men."

b. "...some women still make less than some men and some women make more than some men."

c. "...some women still make less than some men but still make more than the average dwarf."

Fixed it for ya -- *and* it's multiple choice!

Posted by: BillT at May 26, 2010 04:02 PM

...women still make less than women.

We women are always hardest hit :p

Posted by: Pachysandra at May 26, 2010 04:33 PM

"...women still make less than women.

We women are always hardest hit :p

Posted by: Pachysandra at May 26, 2010 04:33 PM"

That one broke my Grok-o-matic...
So I'm defaulting to failsafe mode and going to the garage to rub on my pickup.

Posted by: bt_will-work-for-500-gallon-martinis-or-range-time_hun at May 26, 2010 05:25 PM

I haven't known women to make less than men for doing the same work men do. It does seem to me that if you're a woman, if you have kids, and if you take on more of the job of child-rearing than the father does, it would be extraordinary if your lifetime income didn't reflect that choice.

Traditionally, women were steered to a certain kind of job, first because they were shut out of any other, and later because it's still more common for women to step up to the job of child-rearing than it is for men. So for many years, if women worked at all, it tended to be as nurses or schoolteachers, and only for certain periods during their lives. (This is a disappearing trend to which I attribute the decline of the teaching and nursing professions; they lost their captive pool of over-qualified candidates.) As long as this was true, women had negligible bargaining power over salaries.

It's no longer true. It's been years since I saw any convincing data on the subject that reflected anything other than a tendency of women to choose jobs that traded flexibility for high pay. There may or may not be unfairness in the pressures that lead more women to make that trade-off than men, but I don't see it as an equal-pay issue.

Posted by: Texan99 at May 26, 2010 06:47 PM

Speaking from 21 years of experience, I always advice new young grooms to do three things to guarantee that they won't sleep on the couch:
1- Bring home your paycheck
2- Lift heavy objects
3- Kill spiders

When you include the myriad possible sub-categories, that about covers it.

Posted by: Tom Armstrong at May 28, 2010 01:40 PM

You know, I have always wanted to do a post on advice for kids getting married.

The best advice I ever got on marriage was from our minister just before our wedding. I have never taken it 100% literally but I have honored the spirit of it:

"Never go to bed angry".

I guess I interpreted it more as, "never allow disagreements to become grudges". I really believe that conflicts have to be addressed, even if the upshot of that is that you decide you'll never agree and agree to disagree. I think it's when people start to nurse grievances that a marriage really suffers.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 28, 2010 01:50 PM

Hmm. Lifting heavy objects, absolutely. But I've never wanted another paycheck, and I won't let anyone molest spiders in or around my home (fortunately my husband shares my affection for the little guys). I'd say instead: be honorable, be courageous, be faithful, and avoid a miserable level of drunkenness.

I've been watching "Far From the Madding Crowd" (great flick) and reflecting on how many of my favorite novels are about people's disastrous choices in marriage.

Posted by: Texan99 at May 29, 2010 12:50 PM

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