Saturday, February 8, 2014

OK Stupid; or All's Fair in Love and War

First, a little shout out to Shadow_Nirvana, who has been known to visit and comment here:  I was very sorry to see how some of the ladies piled up on you over at Manboobz yesterday.  What offended me most was one comment that referred to you as "some random dude" when, as far as I know, you've been reading and commenting in that space as long as I have.  

For other readers, to make a long story short:  David Futrelle posted a link to a story about a math whiz who "gamed" OK Cupid in order to get more hits from the kinds of girls he preferred.  What this has to do with "misogyny" I have no idea.  I find this fellow's behavior a bit obsessive and eccentric, but hardly "creepy".  Anyway, most of the ensuing criticism centered on his "cheating".  What "cheating" means in this context is also highly subjective.  I mean, don't we all post our most flattering pictures?  Don't we all omit the least savory aspects of our histories?  When it comes to online dating, as in any form of marketing, caveat emptor.

Shadow_Nirvana simply pointed out that women will "game" systems in order to increase the odds in their favor, so it was perhaps unfair to characterize this as something only men do.  And for this he was immediately and sharply quashed.  (Curiously, everyone assumed Shadow_Nirvana was a male, and I didn't notice that h/she claimed otherwise, but up until then I had no idea of his/her gender and didn't really care.)

Manipulating systems in order to give oneself an advantage is hardly a gendered behavior, of course.  Nor is it necessarily an unethical one.  Shadow_Nirvana's comment could have led to an interesting conversation about the ways women also try to turn tables to their advantage.  But, as we all know, manboobz is not a forum for self-reflection or even tolerance of divergent points of view.  (This is not a criticism, BTW, because I enjoy the website very much and think David does a superlative job monitoring the whacky world of the manosphere, but it's just the nature of a group of this size to become rather rigid and controlled by a few dominant voices.)

Back in the day, when I was a buxom, bodacious blonde, I had a colleague who was always trying to pull me on to blind double dates with various successful, older men, none of whom, unfortunately, I found in the least bit attractive.  I didn't understand why Frances, a tall, slender Scottish lass with masses of gorgeous red hair, exceptional tits, and a rapier-sharp wit, was willing to squander her precious Saturday evenings fending off the lecherous advances of fat, sweaty, balding businessmen.  "I'd go out with a gorilla for a free meal!" Frances would exclaim.  Neither could I understand how Frances could characterize those meals as "free";  from my perspective, they were damn hard work.

However, Shadow_Nirvana would probably assert that Frances was demonstrating one of the most time-honored feminine forms of "gaming the system" and I'd say he was exactly right. 

As I've mentioned before, I used to be a bit of a slut, but I like to think I was always an "ethical slut".  I never let anyone buy me anything once I had made up my mind not to take things to the next level.  In other words, if I knew for certain I did not intend to sleep with a man, I would not allow him to buy me a drink; in fact, I was more likely to buy him a drink (perhaps as a consolation prize?).  I was very careful that way.  On the other hand, if I knew I wanted to have sex with a man, I had no qualms about letting him pick up the tab: I was going to make it all very much worth his while in the near future, and by paying for my meal or my movie, he was demonstrating he was interested too.

That's all in the past now, of course.  Thank God I have finally found someone I can contentedly pair up with and don't have to return to the dating trenches.  

What also struck me about this OK Cupid story (and the many, many references to this particular dating site I have seen) is how technology makes dating even more exhausting and tedious than it was twenty years ago.  I'm sure I'm not the first person to observe that having to sift through huge databases of prospective love interests not only requires hours of monotonous labor, but also the sheer volume of potential suitors has a tendency to ratchet up one's expectations to a stratospheric level.  

When I come home to a pile of unmarked essays, I have been known to steel myself with a stiff martini or two.  I can't imagine having to process a dozen daily missives in my OK Cupid inbox on top of that.

We are drowning in consumer choices, and dating has become no different.  Of course, at some point, most people must "settle".  Has it not been ever thus?  To keep oneself "on the market" forever is to consign oneself to a special level of Hell (and yes, that goes for men as well as women, regardless of what "The Game" boys imagine).

Truly it is one of the few consolations of aging that, even if something were to happen to my SO (God forbid), I am no longer hormonally driven to seek a sexual partner.  If you're not yet post-menopausal, you may not believe this, but just take my word for it:  Loss of libido can be very liberating.

OK, true confession time:  I met my SO online.  She hates me to share this, but we actually met through an ad I placed on craigslist.  This was nearly ten years ago, before craigslist personals had become the sea of utter depravity it now appears to be.   What makes the story unique is that there was no category for what I was seeking (woman for trans), and so only someone who was seeking the exact same unrecognized configuration could have found it.  I didn't have many responses, of course.  The fact that I had hers gave our meeting a magical sense of destiny, or kismet.  I mean, what were the odds?

What's even more amazing is that, in contrast to the unusual way we met, what drew us together was the absolute and utter sense of familiarity we discovered with one another.  Talk about "six degrees of separation"!  My SO and I were born and raised within a few blocks of one another.  Her family attended my sister's church.  She went to summer camp with my brother-in-law.  We hung out at the same roller skating rink.  We played the same games, with many of the same people, and watched the same favorite television programs.  We are both of German-Scandinavian Protestant heritage.  We know exactly what the other's childhood home looked like and smelled like.  I could go on and on, but suffice to say that when we're out and about, strangers often assume we are biological sisters.  It's a vibe we give off, I suppose, which may strike others as unromantic, but is exactly what both of us long for in a partner at our respective ages (mid fifties / mid sixties).

Well, for Pete's sake.  I sat down meaning to muse about the ways women game the dating system, and I wound up telling you all about how I met my partner.  So I'll just have to return to this topic at another time...

Friday, February 7, 2014

The Manosphere Runs on Porn

Mary McCarthy was famously sued for libel for claiming that "Everything Lillian Hellman writes is a lie, including and and the."  Hellman died before the suit went to court, her reputation rather the worse for wear; McCarthy never had to pay damages nor do I believe she ever regretted making the initial accusation.

Let me summon the shade of McCarthy this morning by stating categorically that everything Matt Forney writes about sex is, well, pretty much a lie too.  It has to be.  Because this is a guy who has had very little sexual experience with women, especially not with the women who meet his exacting standards.  Over the years, perhaps, a handful of fat girls have tossed him a bone, which is partly why he rants so much about fat girls (even though & especially because he himself is rather fat).  He can hardly live with the fact that the only young women who would deign to fuck him are fat themselves.

Self-disclosure:  To be honest, I wasn't much different than Matt when I was in my early twenties.  I was rather chubby, the typical "fat girl with a pretty face," and as such, found myself on the margins of the dating market.  I compensated ferociously in various ways, and always managed to keep my dance card full, but I refused to consider the attentions of any man who was fatter or less attractive than myself.  To go out with a fat guy was to admit defeat, to admit I couldn't compete, either.  Until I was well into twenties, I only went after men whom I considered to have a higher "SMV" than I did because until then, the primary purpose of sex for me was to validate my own sense of worth.  (Fast forward to age forty, when I fell madly in love with a guy who weighed 400#, but that's another story...) 

Almost everything Matt Forney knows about sex is based on watching movies. 

He actually rates movies based on which ones have "the best rape scene."  No, you don't have to scratch the surface hard to find the perverse adolescent who is the "Real Matt Forney."

The influence of porn seeps into every nook and cranny of the manosphere -- and, to be fair, of popular American culture in general.  None of us is immune to its influence.  But nowhere is that influence so blatant and striking as in the writing of the New Misogynists.
Think Raquel Welch as Myra Breckenridge.
The physical ideal of femininity for Roosh, for example, looks more like a call girl from the sixties than a Vogue model: big hair, loads of makeup, talon-like nails, surgically augmented breasts, high heels glued to her feet. I'm always amused by the way he and other lady's men like Nick Krauser crib photos of porn actresses or models to illustrate their alleged escapades with captions like, "And she looked just like this!"

Krauser Girls

hmmm.... blocked are we?
Dark and sultry

Sure she did, sonny.  Now pull the other one.

The sex the manosphereans describe involves lots of tried-and-true porn moves:  choking women (with either hands or mighty dick), spitting, squirting, ejaculating on faces or clothing, overcoming resistance through physical force.  The women are often reported to scream with ecstasy as the author bangs away like a jackhammer -- and that one last detail, boys, is a sure tip off that someone is lying exaggerating.  (You have seen "When Harry Met Sally", haven't you?  Or the classic "fake, fake, fake" scene between Jerry and Elaine on Seinfeld?  If you want to learn about the true nature of sex from the silver screen, start with those two clips!)

Look, I'm not bragging, but I had quite a bit of sex in my day, and although I am now retired, I proudly maintain my Elder Slut status, yet none of my adventures resembled a porn movie (unless my partners and I were consciously "acting out" a scene, which happened almost never).  

I would bet any amount of money that our "most hated man on the internet" has had extremely limited intimacy with a woman.  Like most of his readers, he is relying on a combination of years of absorbing violent, sexualized imagery and experienced frustration to fuel his fire.  And like most of these "leaders of men", he relies on the fact that his readers are even more naive and limited in their experiences, even more dependent on their wishful imaginations, than he is.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Back to the Kitchen Ladies!

So this week is "Return to Traditional Values" over at Return of Kings, and the boys are twittering up a storm.  This is the sweet, nostalgic side to the New Misogynists.   They just want to find a girl like Mom Grandma.  And judging by the success of Domestic Goddesses like Nigella Lawson and Martha Stewart, there are a lot of women who share this fantasy of Getting Back to the Kitchen.  Too bad the New Economy makes that pretty much impossible for all but the most affluent.

  1. Retweeted by
    Does being a partner in a dual-careerist household of symmetrical domestic duties and expectations sound romantic to you?
    In fact, it does to me! 
  2. Retweeted by
    When you die, it will be your children, not your co-workers, who mourn for you. 
    Funny, I was just talking about this last night with a girlfriend of mine who is also childless, and we agreed that counting on your kids to mourn you (or even come around and visit you in the nursing home) is kind of an iffy proposition. 
  3. Retweeted by
    The death of a grandmother elicits heartfelt eulogies of the foods she lovingly prepared.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Philip Seymour Hoffman is Dead

I am really grieved to learn of Philip Seymour Hoffman's death today.  This song seems fitting.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Entitled Babies, the Lot of 'em

May I just say here how insanely irritating I find it when "professional" PUAs like Roosh refer to seducing women as "work", as in (God-help-me-I'm-not-kidding), "the important work I do," or the disappointment of not getting to intercourse after "putting in hours of hard work."

Excuse my vent, but I have been working for forty consecutive years.  And by "work" I mean:  going to a job every single day, doing what I was told to do to the best of my ability (even when I didn't usually feel like it), and biting my tongue over and over and over again.

Have any of these manospherean bloggers ever held a real job for more than a year?  When did blogging-for-donations while extending one's adolescence beyond thirty become a respectable lifestyle for a man?

I can't post this rant on manboobz cuz someone will accuse me of being "ableist."  

Turning "No" Into "Yes"

So yesterday Facebook took away Roosh's "privileges" for a full 24 hours -- a kind of "time out" -- because of complaints about LMR (Last Minute Resistance), a "rape guide" by Return of Kings author Vincent Vinturi.  Then Amazon, alerted by Huff Po UK, decided to pull the book from its inventory.

Needless to say. the boys over at ROK are pretty steamed at this "attack" on their "freedom of speech", while the gals over at Jezebel are crowing.

Personally, it is a matter of complete indifference to me whether Amazon carries this book or not.  There are plenty of books available that I would probably find even more despicable and offensive. And it's not like this notion (that men can overcome women's initial objections through coercion) is a new or novel approach or isn't the stuff of a hundred years' worth of popular fantasy. 

What these boys don't understand is that media conveyers like Facebook, Twitter, and Amazon are corporations which have the right, nay, the obligation, to refuse custom that they believe will hurt their bottom line.  It probably took Amazon about five minutes flat to figure out that the paltry profits it would get from this execrable self-published tome weren't worth the shit-load of bad PR its existence was creating among its literate customer base, who actually buy real books (and lots of other stuff).  Du-uh!

I read some of the comments over at Huff Po UK.  One male commentator complained rather peevishly that women "always say no when they really mean yes."  In fact, neither women nor men always do anything, but I do understand why some men accuse some women of being disingenuous.  

As a former proud, card-carrying slut, I have had loads of sex (mostly meaningless and quite forgettable) with a lots of different men.  I have never said "no" when I meant "yes".  I have occasionally said "no" when I meant, "Maybe later -- I'm not sure yet."  And once I did back out at the very last minute because a prospective partner smelled really bad, which I didn't realize until he had taken off his shoes, and I'm sorry, but ew, no no no.  And occasionally I said "no" when I was pretty sure I was going to say "yes" on the third date because -- well, I didn't want the guy to dismiss me as a "slut."

This is a topic that I wish the manosphereans and the young ladies they lust after & resent could have a really honest conversation about.  

Gentlemen, I will concede this:  Young women need to take ownership of their desires.  A woman who, at the last minute, says "no" while secretly hoping the man will ram through her explicit refusal is being fundamentally dishonest with and unfair to both herself and her partner.  And, frankly, if I were a guy, and I suspected a woman was playing me like that, I wouldn't like her one little bit.  At the very least, I wouldn't trust her any farther than I could throw her.  She sounds like a bad bet for a lot of reasons, and the last thing a man should do, under those circumstances, is proceed to fuck her.  This is where I want to grab these boys by their short hairs, and say, I know you're horny, but don't be a moron!  

Trust me, fellas:  Women want sex too.  A woman who truly wants to have sex with you, and understands that you will not proceed without her unambiguous permission, will step up to the plate.  And if such a woman loses respect for you because your deference strikes her as somehow unmanly, well, this is a person with some issues you are better off staying well clear of. 

Nobody has ever died of blue balls.  In fact, back in the day before people expected instant gratification of every imaginable appetite, all that built up "frustrating" tension could result in some ultimately intense, explosive release.  Try to think of sex as a ride, not just a destination.

And so what if you "miss" a particular sexual opportunity and -- the horror! -- it never presents itself again?  What, are you still crying about the ice cream cone you dropped at the State Fair when you were in second grade?  Don't be such a fucking baby.

By the way, I do find the way Roosh exhorts his flying monkeys to push back against critics quite chilling.  He and Matt Forney seem to have taken a cue from Paul Elam of A Voice for Men by advocating the intimidation and harassment of young women he identifies as "hostile" to his "movement."  There's a weird sexual sadism vibe here too: he tends to target the younger, more attractive girls for these campaigns. 


  1. Retweeted by

    abused her position as Huffington Post blogger to cause financial harm to one of our contributors. She may come to regret it.
  2. Retweeted by
    We're currently collecting information on , who yesterday attacked a ROK contributor
  1. started the attack against VinceNnt. Please send me any info you have about her to to aid our response.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Roosh Asks a Question I Can Address With Some Authority

How many people do you know who became fluent in a language they started learning in their 30's?

I have been a language teacher for over thirty years, and I have to say that based on my experience, the answer to that question is, unfortunately, none.  Even young adults (early twenties) are at a marked disadvantage compared to adolescents in acquiring second language fluency.  Of course, there is individual variance.  Some people are innately gifted at languages.  I knew an Afghan guy whose oral proficiency in English was astounding considering he did not learn the language until he came to the U.S. in his mid-twenties.  Of course, he was raised bilingually (Dari and Pashto), which may be why a third language came relatively easily.  And we can look with awe at linguistic virtuosi like Conrad (who learned English in his early twenties by reading newspapers) and Nabokov (who in fact grew up with a melange of French and English governesses).  But these are the exceptions that prove the rule.

Roosh has been trying to learn Russian for a couple of years.  He has indicated he plans to stay in the FSU forever, so naturally he wants to become fluent in the lingua franca.  I for one fully support his ambition to never return to the U.S.  Unfortunately, he is probably about twenty years too late.  He needed to have moved to Ukraine when he was fourteen or fifteen years old to have had a real shot at achieving true, "native-like" fluency.

I'm surprised that Roosh, the child of Iranian parents who immigrated to the U.S. in their twenties, doesn't already know this.  He has only to look at their limited English ability after 35 years in America.

Right now I have a Korean gentleman of 80-odd years in one of my classes, and I'm happy to have him there because he is a quite pleasant person, but in terms of becoming more fluent in English?  He is a lost cause.  That doesn't mean he is wasting his time or money, necessarily:  continuing to study is probably helping him maintain his skills and providing him with all kinds of cognitive and social stimulation that is beneficial.  And he seems to be enjoying the camaraderie and companionship of being in class.

That doesn't mean that adults cannot learn a new language, simply they can never realistically hope to learn it with fluency.  The older a student is, the less successful he or she will be in being fully proficient in a second language.  This has to do with the decreasing plasticity of the areas of the brain responsible for acquiring new language and that first language acquisition does not seem possible after a critical stage (pre-puberty).  There are some interesting studies out there that I'm not in the mood to review right now -- and I'm surprised Roosh hasn't googled the research himself -- but maybe he already suspects what they're going to confirm.  

Poor Roosh!  How frustrating it must be to realize that the Russian speaking ladies he fancies will never be able to fully appreciate the depth and breadth of his intellectual prowess -- since, no matter how hard he studies those flash cards, he will be pretty much confined to eighth grade discourse with them.

And it will be hard for him to maintain the facade of being a dominant "alpha" male when he must rely on his girlfriend to navigate doctor's visits, commercial transactions, or complex social situations of any kind.  Sure, he'll be able to go out and buy a kilo of potatoes for supper, but with whom will he discuss politics and philosophy or the great issues of our day?

(Curiously, first language development can continue to improve into late middle age.)