Monday, February 20, 2012

Validate a woman, respect a man


The mother in this family is a 'natural' at treating men and women differently. She knows how to validate a woman and respect a man.

One recent example of this comes to mind.

A dinner at a restaurant had been scheduled for a party of about 30 of us (work colleagues), including her. But unfortunately, the day before the dinner, the restaurant got flooded in a freak incident. Bizarre but true.
She, as the solo organising committee for this dinner was undeterred. With one day's notice, she singlehandedly fixed a gourmet dinner at her own house. For 30 people. At her own cost.
Admirable in itself.

But what sticks in my memory about that evening is what she did just prior to the dinner itself.

After laying out the delicious spread of various meals on the table, she made a big show of calling the men to table first. There was the usual mock protests from all the ladies, of course (all in good humour, I might add), all of us expecting the usual 'ladies first'.

The men were absolutely delighted. They were not expecting that at all.
She made up some cock-and-bull story about how she was sick and tired of the whole 'ladies first' thing and it was time the men had their turn at going first...She was clearly 'sucking up' to the men and they loved it. We the women were totally unimpressed with her :-)

At the end of the evening, the men reimbursed her for the cost of hosting the whole group at her home. They graciously paid for all the women too.

When they were leaving, I overheard one man say to her husband, "If only wife-swapping were legal in this country..."

All she had done was show a little bit of good humoured 'mock' respect to a group of men. They were more than happy to oblige with chivalrous behaviour.
Imagine what they would have done with a more serious display of respect.

Because the need for respect is hard-wired into a man. From within, in the guise of his self-worth, and from others in his entourage.

Some of the men at that party had never known a day of respect in their entire married lives.
Shame, because in fact, it is an easy thing for a woman to do. Especially if she chose her Top Spot man.

That dinner was of course no example of validation of the women, by our hostess. Our 'rights' had been taken away from us. So naturally we were seething. We would have been quite happy to do what red pill men want to do with manginas: take him to the courtyard and publicly flog him.
Until, that is, the men paid for us :-)
Until, that is, the men validated us.
There was no obligation on their part to pay for us. They just did it. Just because. They made us feel special. Like we were worth being spoiled.
Even if we did not collectively merit that, necessarily.

Here is another example of validation of a woman.
As a child, I remember being amused by my grandparents' displays of affection during visits to their home. Grandma would call Grandpa the equivalent of 'The Boss' and he would call her the equivalent of 'Babydoll'.
'Babydoll'.
She looked anything but, given that at that time she was pushing 60.
But appearance is important to a woman. Sure, she knows she is not 21 anymore. But it makes her feel important if someone tells her that, to him, she might as well be.

Women feel important for what they are, men feel important for what they do.
Those two were the best kind of role model there could ever be for us kids.
Twenty years after his death, Grandma was still singing the praises of 'The Boss'. Even though while he was alive, he was hardly an angel. And she had complaints about him a foot long. But you would never have known it unless you were part of the family.

Because she respected him and he loved her.

Women do not need to hear they are respected. They only need to feel it.
A woman's favourite three words (from a man if she is heterosexual) are 'I love you'.
It is never 'I respect you'.
Love is more important to a woman than respect when it comes to 'building' her up.
'I respect and love you' is perfect.
'I respect you', on its own is not.

A woman's source of self-importance tends to be external. She usually needs to be validated by someone else. Otherwise she feels less than desirable, less than feminine.

Many women have learned to live without this external validation. This is admirable because it is not easy to do.

A man's self-worth is always internal.
Everyone around him can tell him how great he is. If he does not believe it himself, he will never be swayed into believing it by someone else.
His own accomplishments determine how he sees himself.

From the above observations, it is easy to see why a woman is easier to encourage than a man.
All she needs to hear is, 'you can do it' and she is off and away.
A man needs to be able to tell himself  he can do anything. Otherwise, he just won't do it.

From the above observations, it is easy to see why a woman can be easily led astray by a skilled pick up artist (PUA) or the wrong 'herd' of fellow women.
All she needs to hear is "you're beautiful, I love you" and the rest is history.
Or she might hear "you're not fat, sweetie, you're just 'big-boned', you are absloutely fabulous just the way you are!" and the rest is not history.
A woman can definitely be 'persuaded' into all sorts of things. This is why women make better hypnosis subjects than men.

From the above observations, it is easy to see why a  woman's greatest fear is abandonment.
Someone who once validated her is no longer willing to do so. She feels she has failed as a 'people connector' which is supposed to be her best skill.

A man realising his greatest fear (cuckoldry, betrayal by a woman) suffers a masive blow to his self-image: his criteria for assessment were all wrong.
Some woman outsmarted him. Nothing more irksome to a man than losing any kind of competition, especially to a woman.

Having his own strong sense of accomplishment AKA self-worth intact, the single most important virtue a man needs from outside of himself is respect, especially coming from his own 'camp' - his own family and then secondly, from his 'competitors' - his rivals at work and play.

For a woman, the concept of 'respect' is a foreign one usually, except in the realm of womanly virtue. This is perhaps why no woman can stand to be seen as a word rhyming with 'rut'. Even if  by the standards of the times, she is technically one.

She would rather be validated than respected in everything else.
A man would pick respect over validation any day.



If anyone is interested in 'evidence' (effectively, just someone else's opinion), part of my formulation of thought on this theme comes from Dr. Emerson Eggerich's book, Love and respect. I have found his theories to be true. A good summary of the book is to be found here.











14 comments:

Anonymous said...

@ SpaceTraveller

Women feel important for what they are, men feel important for what they do.

Because she respected him and he loved her.

She would rather be validated than respected in everything else. A man would pick respect over validation any day.


Lots of wisdom in this post. From my own life:

Wife #1 was respected for what she did at work (masculine standards). But she craved acceptance for her feminine qualities (wife, mother) which she lacked. My beta side filled in her feminine gaps.

More to follow as I compare your model to my own observations..

Bill

Peter said...

Pretty accurate description overall, but men aren't hurt by cheating partners because the woman has out smarted them, it's because they have been betrayed. If a woman is unfaithful, until recently, he had no way of finding out if the child she bore was his. Most men with a back bone would leave a woman without a moments notice if she cheated on them, all bets are off after that.

just visiting said...

@ Peter

Which brings up an interesting point. If a wife had an affair that did not result in a child, is it still worse than when a husband cheats. I keep hearing that it is.

spacetraveller said...

@ Peter,

Welcome to The Sanctuary!

And thanks for the clarification.

@ JV,

I have a theory which could answer your question, I hope. I would need it assessed by others though, because I am guessing.

I think if a man cheats, it lowers the status of a woman somewhat. Bellita made this point in her 'Written in the stars 3' post. If the man comes back, it does restore her status (even though there is emotional damage done to her caused by his cheating).

If a woman cheats, there is a grave risk that the man could be raising someone else's child, yes. But even if this does not happen, his status is NOT restored if he takes her back because of an important difference between men and women: the concept of 'ownership' which women might find hard to understand when it is described in a negative context such as this, but it is exactly what a woman wants in a man when it is positive such as when his feeling of 'ownership' of her allows him to see it as his duty to protect her. Once that ownership element is gone, he really can't function as her 'king' anymore unless she can somehow instil that in him again, which I imagine would take a lot of work and time.
(I notice that boys will abandon a broken toy so fast it is unbelievable, but a girl will still love her broken doll and will even try to fix it - do the parents among you agree that this is true?) If my observation of children is right, then a man will walk out on his 'broken toy' just like a boy will.
I think this same 'ownership' makes men far more prone to jealousy than women, and more violently so. When a woman is jealous, she is really just protecting her assets more than fighting for the man per se. (Not to say she doesn't love him, of course). I think when a man is jealous, he is fighting for the rights to the woman who he sees as his asset, his possession, his toy.

To look at it in another way, i.e. in the spirit of this post, when a man returns after cheating, a woman's validation is restored. A man who once abandoned her has returned. She feels validated again because his departure created a 'lack' which can be potentially restored.
If a woman cheats, he sees it as disrespect. In this case, her action does not create a 'lack' which can simply be restored, it creates an 'adverse' or 'negative' situation which cannot be so easily fixed, and in fact if he takes her back, she is just a constant reminder of this negative situation. And men don't do cognitive dissonance usually. (Women will, but tolerate it poorly).

So I got a question of my own, Peter:
Are men just as much slaves to their public persona as women?
Sure, it must be horrible to have to raise another man's child, without his consent, but if a man finds that his child is not his, in private, is it somehow better than when everyone knows about it, as in if the child is clearly of a different race, for example?
Does a privacy component somehow lessen the blow? Or does it not make a jot of differnce?

Anonymous said...

spacetraveller said...

"I think when a man is jealous, he is fighting for the rights to the woman who he sees as his asset, his possession, his toy."

I don't like this, and it's not just a PC issue, either. For some men, and I have no idea how many or what percentage, we don't get jealous of other men flirting with our wives, we get jealous when our wives flirt with other men. Because of the commitment and vows made in a marriage or long term relationship, either partner flirting with an outsider is the red flag, as it were, towards betrayal.

My wife still gets flirted with, by other men, but I don't get jealous; indeed, she is quite good at being nice to flirters and letting them down gently. But, and I admit to a bit of voyeurism on this, she is VERY good at shooting down a man who is offensively not getting the message and continuing to flirt. In fact, we agreed BEFORE we even got married, that I would not 'defend her' per se, unless someone put their hands on her. She's damned smart, three university degrees, a lot smarter than I am by far. And in a typical fashion for a woman, her genius lies in communications and interpersonal relationships. She has an uncanny ability to shoot a man down so brutally that they immediately leave her alone for the rest of the night. I can even recall men leaving the bar/party after being exposed as a drunken fool.

Don't get me wrong, I'm quite aware of men who view their wives or girlfriends as a possession. I think this is far less prevalent than it was 30 or 50 or 100 years ago, simply because nearly ALL females dislike the concept, and are quite vocal about it, not just feminists. I don't think it's an ownership belief anymore, as it is a betrayal of trust.

You might not like this, but I think validation and respect are merely two sides of the same coin, much more connected than you realize.

"Everyone around him can tell him how great he is. If he does not believe it himself, he will never be swayed into believing it by someone else."

This is almost universally true for men, I would think. Perhaps this is the foundation for the 'fragile male ego' so disparaged by females in the past few decades. Therefore, your question to Peter about public persona is no, for a large majority of men. Obviously, there are vocations where a man's public reputation is deeply connected to his sense of self worth, such as preacher/minister/priest, but most men self define quite well, whether that definition is good or bad. The point about raising another man's child believing it is his blood, is again, a question of betrayal far more than it is public humiliation. Certainly, the public nature would intensify the betrayal, but I would argue quite hard that it is the betrayal of trust that has caused the blow in the first place.

This is part of the reason why my wife is willing to shoot a flirtation down quite publicly. There is no expectation of trust between her and some random partygoer with too much drink on board. The public nature of the shooting is to shame, not betray a non-existent trust. It's a factor in getting him to leave her alone, but I think the major damage is to the aforementioned male ego, as in "You're not actually God's Gift to women, especially not THIS woman."

I see your point, however, that women see validation as respect, and men see respect as validation.

The Navy Corpsman

spacetraveller said...

@ NC,

"we don't get jealous of other men flirting with our wives, we get jealous when our wives flirt with other men. Because of the commitment and vows made in a marriage or long term relationship, either partner flirting with an outsider is the red flag, as it were, towards betrayal."

Interesting. You and Peter have both been quite strong on the point of betrayal. It doesn't surprise me of course.

"I'm quite aware of men who view their wives or girlfriends as a possession. I think this is far less prevalent than it was 30 or 50 or 100 years ago, simply because nearly ALL females dislike the concept, and are quite vocal about it, not just feminists."
Yes. Nearly all females don't like this possessiveness, but only when it is negative. I think most women if they are honest secretly (actually openly!) love the feeling of 'belonging' to a man of their choice.
But I agree it is not exactly PC.


"You might not like this, but I think validation and respect are merely two sides of the same coin.."
Actually, the thought crossed my mind as I was writing the post! And Grasshopper tripped me up (in a good way :-) when he suggested that I had 'validated' him and my immediate reaction was... no, no, no! Respect for a man, validation for a woman!
:-)

But in the end, you are right. It is one and the same thing. Just packaged differently.


Thanks for answering the question about the public thing.

If your view is true for the majority of men, then you are collectively very different from women, then.
Erm, men different from women? Who would have thought!

:-)

Anonymous said...

I think this difference is either designed into, or developed (depending on your beliefs) by the two genders as a part of the entire concept of attraction. Lots of differing opinions exist amongst behaviorists and paleo-archeologists, but we'll probably never know exactly how things came about, in pre-historical groups. I was just reading about the history of writing, which is coincidental to the term pre-history.

I hope you'll forgive me if I don't comment on the possession idea you just presented, a smart man just nods at certain statements and says, "Quite interesting idea", then changes the subject.

I wonder if respect confers a validation of self definition, ego for a male, while validation confers a respect for the id, for a female. I realize Freud has gone out of fashion in today's world, but he did leave some useful concepts that still can be applied without bringing cigars into it. The id, being a deeper, more instinctive and unconscious to semi-conscious, while the ego is more rational reality, classically defined as seeking to please the id’s drive in realistic ways that will benefit in the long term instead of causing trouble. I'm not about to define the id of a woman, or the ego of a male, but for some reason, I see validation as a deeper, more instinctive type of desire, while the respect must require a rational discourse, even if it's completely internal.

(I know certain words could be misconstrued here, I even considered dropping 'deeper', but decided to keep it, adding unconscious.)

Certainly, any long term relationship, including marriage, requires both terms, to function well. English is considered by linguists to be a reasonably rich language, full of nuance and subtle flavor, perhaps not as much as say, Mandarin, but certainly more than French. I'm pretty sure that even the most primitive form of human communication was able to engender respect and validation in some form, however. I would doubt the inaccurate but campy caveman dragging a woman back to his cave old movie trope as being just improbable, almost impossible. Mating in 10,000 BC had to have a social contract as much as today, 'for the good of the group'. Going back to Homo erectus or heidelbergensis, we may find less language skills, but more physical communication.

Each of us, male or female, requires some form of interaction; we are a gregarious species, on the whole. We seek that which pleases, and avoid that which does not, which is perhaps why sado-masochism is considered 'deviant' from the normal and accepted societal boundaries. Seeking physical pain is something few people voluntarily do, which is probably why the pain reflex evolved in the first place (or was designed). As self-awareness became more pronounced between 'food' or 'cold' concepts, and 'how do I get more food' or 'how can I get warmer', so also did these interactions become necessarily more complex and nuanced. As the family group or clan became a village, containing unrelated individuals, so again did the complexity of interactions grow. It only stands to reason we are a product of our past history, both bad and good, by our current definitions. We seek that which pleases, and by counter, we try to please that which we seek.

But when complexities are suddenly introduced by individuals wishing to effect a great change in basic human interactions, such as in a war where a certain culture subsumes another into itself, trauma and confusion are historically quite easy to trace, at least from the 'invention' of writing, forward to today. Cyrus the Great, a Persian king who conquered many lands, was famous even in his own time for respecting the customs and religions of the lands he conquered. Such behavior was extremely rare in wartime in 600 BC. But, it is also true that history is generally written by the victors.

(continued)

The Navy Corpsman

Anonymous said...

(continued)

It would be interesting to me, to live long enough to see whether those born after say, 1990, will view the past three or four decades as the "Gender Wars" as many media personalities love to refer to... or possibly even laughed at as slightly ridiculous.

Lastly, betrayal. Yes, I would agree this is highly male. While you might think it's a form of badly disrespecting a man, I don't think it's that easy. Loyalty is a thing we have taught to us, at a very tender age, sort of like your 'initiation' concept from the MGTOW post. I'd agree that loyalty has been an integral part of developing a patriarchy and by extension, civilization. Whatever the reason, loyalty has been a very important concept to males for a very long time. As war has become (thankfully) less common, and human life more highly prized just for existing, loyalty itself has suffered some major blows, not the least of which is the lack of teaching it to the younger males, due to an older male not being present in the boy's life. I am equally certain there is some analogue to loyalty, that probably is highly related to it, for women and girls, taught from the elder to the younger. I'm completely unsure as to what that might be, however. Probably, you or another female could tell me instantly, and I'd slap my forehead with frustration at my ignorance.

But think about human history, at least that which has been written. Betrayal, or it's relative, treason, has been vilified for millenia. Dante famously reserved his last circle of hell for the traitors Judas and Brutus. A trust, not easily given, found to be betrayed does not only reflect bad on the betrayer, but also on the judgment of (s)he who was betrayed.

And there is the root of it. It's the ego again... that betrayal has destroyed not only the trust, but also the decision to trust. The rational reality that exists to feed the id, has failed, the ULTIMATE failure. One of my very great failures to understand, is when confronted by a simple datum that men are three times more likely to remarry after a divorce than women.

This is staggering, to me. Of course, I am assuming that those men didn't want to be divorced. But, I also confess to a strongly held suspicion that men only seek divorce for two reasons, either to immediately marry another woman, or because they have been cheated upon. Granted, I am old fashioned, was brought up that way, but I learned it with Mother's milk. Regardless of reason, men remarrying at a rate three times that of women, post divorce, just blows my mind. Is it an attempt to re-qualify for respect? I really do not know.

One thing I do know, is that communication is key, and both often and sometimes, exhaustive. Marriage is hard work, far harder than anyone ever thought to warn me. I also think it's harder for my wife, who thinks I have it the wrong way round. Both of us tend to look inward when there have been problems, seeking within ourselves the root of any given issue. This rather refuses to mesh with your points about playing the victim, whether male or female. We believe it was simply the way we were raised, to NOT first blame someone else, and more to the point, seek to improve ourselves by identifying potential problem behaviors. By not blaming each other for every little thing that goes wrong, and communicating immediately and thoroughly our understanding of the issue, we're far more IN love than we were the day we married.

Last week, we were watching something on TV, late at night, about cemetery markers, tombstones. She asked me what I would want as my epitaph, and I answered, "He was a good man." She laughed, sat up in bed and kissed me soundly. "I was just thinking", she replied, "She was a good woman."

Isn't that enough, from life?

The Navy Corpsman

spacetraveller said...

@ NC,

Wow, there's so much in your last 2comments that are great lessons for life, nevermind the dating/relationship arena.
Thanks for your thoughts.
Lots to think about.

I don't know either why divorced men are more likely to remarry than divorced women. Maybe we should look at it the other way round, that divorced women are less likely to remarry because they usually have children tagging along making them less attractive to prospective new husbands? I dunno.

I also find it fascinating that men are very quick to accuse women of not being loyal enough compared to themselves. Because I know women can be fiercely loyal too. But I do recognise that 'loyalty' and 'honour' are specific 'masculine' traits that are ingrained into most men.
I cannot tell you the equivalent of 'loyalty' that is instilled in women. Perhaps someone can volunteer that information. I would have thought that a sense of compassion for others' faults is an important part of femininity, at least as taught by people like Helen Andelin of 'Fascinating Womanhood' fame, but I don't know if this could translate directly to loyalty.

I agree that a break of trust reflects badly on both the trustee and the truster.

"By not blaming each other for every little thing that goes wrong, and communicating immediately and thoroughly our understanding of the issue, we're far more IN love than we were the day we married."
This is the definition of a very good marriage, no?

And you and your wife think alike too!
I heard that the longer people are together for, the more they begin to think alike. Of course some people part ways before that can happen...but I think it is so beautiful when it does happen.

This is better than a chick flick, NC.

Excuse me while I fetch my tissues :-)

Great comment. Thanks for that.

Anonymous said...

spacetraveller said...

"This is better than a chick flick, NC."

Honesty is genderally the best policy.

The Navy Corpsman

Peter said...

"Which brings up an interesting point. If a wife had an affair that did not result in a child, is it still worse than when a husband cheats. I keep hearing that it is."

The author seems to have answered the question, there is nothing that a woman can do after she has cheated to fully restore the relationship to the previous state. It doesn't seem to be as cut and dry when men cheat, but I'm not a woman so I can't say for certain.

"Are men just as much slaves to their public persona as women?
Sure, it must be horrible to have to raise another man's child, without his consent, but if a man finds that his child is not his, in private, is it somehow better than when everyone knows about it, as in if the child is clearly of a different race, for example?
Does a privacy component somehow lessen the blow? Or does it not make a jot of differnce?"

Personally, it wouldn't make a jot of difference in regards to the actions I like take. I will know the truth of the situation and that is enough for me. It would be more embarassing if the whole town also knew, but the betrayal is by far the bigger issue to me.

just visiting said...

You bring up some good points ST. Validation has always been a thorny issue for me because when I was younger, it was so important to me. Especially after I'd had my first child and was at home. The usual validation one gets from the outside world from work, going out for lunch and friends was no longer there. And the demands of baby and household required a hundred different things in a day that are never acknowledged. Staying at home was also not viewed as particularly ambitious, which hurt my rather ambitious pride. Rather unfairly, my husband became my sole resource of validation, which even at my young age I knew was going to hurt us.

I hated feeling at the mercy of validation and gave it some hardcore introspection. I think it comes down to this. What was motivating my actions? Was I pleasing or giving? Was I coming from a place of fear and need or a place of confidence and love? This was important because it gave me the insight of how to not be manipulated by validation. It also impacted the quality of validation that I received.

Coming from a place of fear and need is not respected. You give so much of yourself, but get very little back. Coming from a place of confidence and love changes how you think and how you do things. You and what you do are respected. The quality of validation is higher. (The paradox being that the less that you are a slave to validation the easier it is to get it.) And you are now in a position where you can actually give instead of please.

spacetraveller said...

JV,

Thank you for your wise words (again).
I am glad you gave a woman's perspective on this because I am quite blind to the potential pitfalls ahead, in life.

I have a big mouth and I have a lot to say, but I have never been in a position where I am left with a baby all day at home before.
How might I cope with that one day, I ask myself?
Especially coming from a position where I would have had all the other sources of validation you mention - work, friends, etc...

Thanks for giving good advice as to how to approach this potential hurdle in life.

'Have pride in whatever you do' is the message I am getting from you. Being at home is a noble thing rather than the disdainful option we are taught to be believe it is.
And if we believe in what we do, we actualy do not need validation so much but we get it anyway.
Kinda like 'outcome independent' behaviour, no?
Interesting how many paradoxes I am coming across nowadays! It's like one a week now :-)

Thank you. I appreciate this. More than you will know.

just visiting said...

Aww shucks. And I know what you mean about the paradoxes. It's spooky how I'm running into them.