Monday, July 2, 2012

The harem - a niche view

Confession: I am was an involuntary member of a 'soft harem' in my online life.
Involuntary because I don't like harems on principle and I am therefore not exactly sure how I ended up belonging to one ('it just happened' :-), and especially as the male involved is not even human :-)

Note to all you MGTOW types: This is your fault. When you turn your backs on women they are forced to look into 'other' options...
:-)

 Just kidding...
This post is dedicated to my Top Spot Online guy, Brody from 504, aka Danny's dog who is not only my countryman but who is also undeniably alpha supreme :P
Welcome to The Sanctuary, Brody.



I recall a conversation I had with a former colleague from way back, when I was very young. She was much older than I and was in a relationship that was clearly going nowhere, but she was the only person who could not see that. Even I in my naivety knew this.
This woman was in a relationship with a man who was the local 'don juan'. You only had to have a pulse and breasts and he would be after you. It was embarrassing to say the least.
All her friends were beginning to avoid the pair of them, because you couldn't so much as step into their company as to have Mr. Randy make a pass at you - sometimes right in front of her.
I don't know if he was actually sleeping with all the women he was making passes at, but it was clear he was at high risk of doing so if presented with the opportunity. What's more, everyone around them knew what he was like. Everyone.

The conversation we had was round about end of february. She was clearly upset about something and was becoming a little impossible to work with. I asked what was the matter, and after a bit of coaxing, she came out with it: she was upset because Mr. Randy hadn't got her a Valentine's day gift.

My jaw hit the floor.
Huh? That was her problem?
Not the fact that he was busy chasing skirt all over town?

I am ashamed to say I did not exactly sympathise with her position.

That was then. Now I think I was perhaps rash in my astonishment at the reason behind her upset.
I guess  I was 'projecting' my own values/standards on her. I have since learned that this is perhaps immature.

Every woman has her own 'non-negotiables'. Hers was clearly getting a gift on Valentine's Day. She was ready to 'close her eyes' to his embarrassing flirting and possible infidelity.
There may have been a good reason for that, I don't know. Perhaps he was very good at something else that she liked, like making her feel special. Maybe he was the love of her life and she had chosen him as the No. 1 man, come what may.
I, like everyone else was only seeing things from the outside. I did not know what she herself was seeing from the inside, or indeed if she was seeing anything at all.


For many women, a harem of any kind is a 'non negotiable'.
It is for me personally, but could this be simply a cultural issue? I was quite amazed to realise that I am not anti-polygamy per se. If I had been brought up in a polygamous society, I would have had no problem conforming. Because if that were the tradition of the land and things worked out fairly well for everyone concerned, why rock the boat?
Even in some parts of America where you see communities in which there are polygamous families, like in religious sects, etc., there is a certain 'order' which is at best or at worst (depending on how you see it!) tolerable.
I would not wish to be part of that sort of arrangement, but each to his own. At least the women themselves in these sorts of communities do not seem to be complaining too much. So who am I to complain on their behalf?
Things seem to work out fairly well with this situation. Every woman is well catered for. No-one is left out in the cold. There are mutual benefits.

Throughout history, there have been harems. The Romans, Greeks and Turks were particularly erm, talented at this :-)
The women were often housed in a specified part of the man's house, with eunuchs to guard over them.
Harems were not always 'legitimate' of course.
During the various slave trades in history, the womenfolk among the enslaved were often used as involuntary harem members. This practice of course still continues today with human trafficking.

True polygamy was an established part of many old traditional societies, such as in Africa, the Middle East and North American 'Red Indian' cultures. Islam still encourages true polygamy to this day of course.
Does the practice of polygamy cater for a masculine biological need (to experience 'variety) or is this just a manifestation of the insatiable and uncontrollable 'need' of a privileged few?
I dunno.

But something else interests me on the topic of harems.
Specifically one which involves a married man who has mistresses.

See, it's one thing for a woman to belong to the 'soft harem' of an unattached man where she may not know about the other women and where none of the parties involved is married.
That's fair enough in many ways.

But what happens where a man is clearly married, and the peripheral women know he is married, ala Tiger Woods?
Why is this scenario so common?

We all know about the sins of men.
That's all we've heard - all our lives.
So much so that it fails to register anymore - it's simply not 'news' anymore.

Tiger Woods was heavily penalised for his sins.
Rightly so.

But what about the women who were in his harem?
Were they innocent victims of this man's out of control libido?

One of them got married shortly after the incident (yes, there was a man willing to wife up this woman) and recently had a baby.

This woman (neither her cronies, I would venture) did not 'love' Tiger Woods as she claimed.
If so, she wouldn't have found it so easy to disengage from Tiger and marry another man so quickly...

Sure, there is the money...
But apparently the Tiger was a bit tight-fisted with these women.

No. These women were out to hurt another woman.
They were out to hurt Tiger's wife.
And they succeeded.
Another marriage broken.


Tiger, like most men, may have had a 'roving eye'. Another victim of The Coolidge effect.
But he could never had achieved what he did without the cooperation of women.

An honourable woman never wants to break up another's marriage.
No matter how much she is under siege by her own ovulatory hormones.
A one-off mistake... sure, it happens.
A full-blown and utter disregard for the rights of another woman to her own husband however is crass and unacceptable.
Not the popular view, I am sure, but nonetheless true.

This makes me wonder why we don't hear so much about harems involving one woman and many (single) men.
Notice the phrase we don't hear so much about.
Of course these types of 'harems' occur all the time.

But there is nothing to be gained from them if all the men are unattached. No-one is hurt, afterall.

But I am willing to bet that we surely hear about them if one or more of the men is or becomes attached sometime in the future, where it becomes a case of 'look at me, I am so hot I was able to steal this man from his less attractive woman'!

Female competition of the lowest kind...
And dare I say it, these women do know that what they are doing is gravely wrong.
But they hide their shame with 'And I am not ashamed to say it!' knowing jolly well they are...
Because 'empowered feminism' eggs them on.
And they know only too well that they are hurting another woman, possibly several children, and a whole community who were witness to the union of a man and his wife.

But these same women when challenged will play the victim:

She was needy and he threw the bait at her. (In this, by the way, I do not include women who were duped into believing that the man was single. But even so... I think it is usually clear on some level if a man is married, but I am willing to stand corrected on this. And I believe any man who deceives a woman in this way is the worst kind of man there is).

She was lonely and someone gave her his company.

She was in need of validation and someone showed her some attention.

She was in some sort of trouble and someone bailed her out.

Note that in all these type of cases, the man is fulfilling what usually turns out to be a temporary need of such a flighty woman.
Once that need is fulfilled, she is gone.
And the unwitting man thinks the woman loves him: It's all about him. This woman cares about him.
Unlike his wife who doesn't understand him.


Wrong.
The truth is, she pictured his wife and she said to herself: 'I'll have what she has'.
And not only that, but 'I'll destroy what she has'.


Any woman who is willing to help a man break his marriage vows when she knows he is married is one with low impulse control at best and a highly dangerous one at worst.

In this sense, a woman like this is just using an unwitting man like this as a stepping stone on her 'hypergamous' journey.
Using the 'preselection' his wife provides as her artillery.
Once the wife is ditched, or she leaves, the man is now worthless to this type of woman.
For she is always on the hunt for an illusion. Not the real man behind said illusion.

This should not surprise any man in this position.
The signs were there all along...


Addendum:
Reading all the above to myself once more prior to publishing, I empathise with anyone who might conclude that even where the sin of a man is blatantly clear, I will still find a way to blame a woman.

Yes, valid point.
I don't disagree, actually.
But as ever with me, motive is everything.
And my intent here, is less about the culpabilisation of women and more about seeing the world with fresh eyes...to see what I may have missed in order to avoid making the mistakes I could easily make were I not looking for the pitfalls.
In other words, look for possible sins that no-one is willing to, or knowledgeable enough about, to point out to me, so that I don't make them one day.

Yes, this type of thinking does require a certain willingness on the part of women to fall on our collective swords.
But mea culpa is not a foreign concept to me :-)


I find that the best teacher is the one who won't teach you but will sit back and watch you teach yourself.






37 comments:

just visiting said...

Being in a harem would be a non negotiable. lol. Unlike other women who accept it because they were raised in it, I reject it Because I was. (AT least after my parents divorce.) From soft harems to hard harems. Nothing about that lifestyle appeals.

One of my life lessons was to understand that the psychology of these women were a lot different than mine. I thought they must be victims, and as a kid, I fought with my father over this.(Though in adulthood I think it's kind of silly that a kid set out to save grown women. But...considering the post on foreign women, perhaps not much has changed.lol)

There could be another aspect to your friend being upset about Valentine's Day, but not the skirt chasing. A lot of women in situations like this want validation as the man's "best girl", not necessarily his only girl.

Spacetraveller said...

Argh, JV,

I must say, it doesn't appeal either :-(
I know that in ages past that's all some women could get...and perhaps were I living in said ages, I would accept it as part of society's 'norm', being fiercely 'traditional' in that regard.

But given that we don't live in such an age...
The alternative arrangement where the parties involved have no real ties to each other..just doesn't appeal very much. I am with you on that one.

"A lot of women in situations like this want validation as the man's "best girl", not necessarily his only girl."

I lke this theory of yours...
And I really do believe that there was something 'special' about that man that made everything else about him easily overlooked by her. But it was not even like he spent Valentine's Day with her either! No indication at all that she was even 'one of his girls' at the time it mattered to her. Let alone his 'best' girl.
To me, at the time, it was rather an 'open and shut' case. But I see now that there were lots of grey areas I couldn't possibly see...

Spacetraveller said...

JV,

"(Though in adulthood I think it's kind of silly that a kid set out to save grown women. But...considering the post on foreign women, perhaps not much has changed.lol)"

INTJ women also have this 'saviour complex'?

Hahahaha!

just visiting said...

INTJ women also have this 'saviour complex'?

In spades!!!

just visiting said...

Though it's a noble trait when used properly, it can be a self destructive trait when used without strong qualifying and boundaries.

just visiting said...

It seems to me that in the old days mistress culture would have been closer to a lesser form of marriage.

In modern times, it seems rather hook up ish. At least in the past, you had resources and protection as long as you were a mistress.

Spacetraveller said...

"It seems to me that in the old days mistress culture would have been closer to a lesser form of marriage."

Yes. Although still not to my taste. Nowadays, it's even worse, agreed.

About the 'saviour complex', I think I need help on that :-) I may not be 'doing it right' on that score...

Bellita said...

Re: mistress culture

I've already mentioned that "concubinage" is still a problem in Philippine society. But in fairness, many of the wealthier lotharios take their responsibilities to their children seriously. There is a handsome actor (well, at least he was in his youth) who must have over fifty children with several different women. He was able to support them all. (Not that it makes it better, of course.) I wonder what would happen to hook up culture in the West if young women were as loathe to take birth control as their Filipina counterparts clearly are. ;-)

Speaking of "the West" . . . I remember an interview with the woman who was Gordon Ramsey's mistress for several years. She revealed that had been a "professional" mistress to many married men for years. And I was struck dumb when I got to the part where she said she always insisted on having her "rights" in a relationship. That is, her "equal rights." To her, the mistress is the equal of the wife, and if the wife is given something (whether it is a gift or quality time), then the mistress is entitled to it, too.

It seems very different from the Philippine experience, which inspired a satirical etiquette book called Manners for Mistresses (in which the #1 rule was "Know your place!") . . . but now that I think about it, many mistresses likely do feel entitled to a married man's resources. And they really don't care that another woman is his actual wife. (It's hard to scapegoat them, though, when they have clearly been enabled by the husband himself.) The contempt for marriage that begins with the adultery just grows greater and greater, the more people are dragged into it and the longer it goes on.

just visiting said...

I know what you mean. Mistress would seem an unhappy and unstable arrangement. Though back in the day, I've read that there were contracts made up for such arrangements.

As for the other, my compassion has been known to trip me up from time to time, lol. By no means immune to sticking my neck out and getting it chopped.

just visiting said...

@ Belita

50 kids!!!

As for Gordan Ramsey's professional mistress, I suppose they had those too in the old days. Courtesan's. (hmn, quite the hierarchy we're starting to get, lol)

Bellita said...

@JV
Now that you've mentioned those contracts . . .

It has just occurred to me that the insistence on the "wisdom" of a prenuptial agreement in our time puts modern marriages on the level of such arrangements of convenience. (Some might argue that it was modern marriages first becoming arrangements of convenience--whoever happens to be defining "convenience"--that made the prenuptial agreements necessary.)

This brings to mind a French mini-series I once watched. It was set in the late eighteenth century. The main character was a beautiful woman who was born a commoner but married into the aristocracy. After her husband's death, she found out that he had provided for a mistress in his will. The lawyer said something about the husband wanting to honor the love that the mistress had given him, and the wife snapped, "If she loved him, then why did she let him pay her?"

To which the lawyer retorted: "If you loved him, then why did you let him marry you?"

The insulting implication was that every woman sells sex. Some just have a more socially sanctioned "price" than others.

Anonymous said...

PVW here re. harems, I can think of one situation regarding the possibility of becoming part of a harem and my sense of ethics reigned me in from getting involved in a situation where another woman might not have stayed away.

I was younger, single and in graduate school, I had a male colleague I was friendly with but I didn't take things further as I knew he had a long distance girlfriend.

We were chatting once about dating in graduate school, when he offered to be my fwb and started talking about terms, how it would work. I asked him whether his girlfriend would know, he said no.

Now, I presumed his girlfriend might have imagined that they were exclusive, that is why I asked him.

There was no way I was going to be party to him acting unethically in his relationship to his girlfriend.

just visiting said...

@Bellita

I suppose the ethics gets even more uncomfortable when the situation comes to arranged marriages and chosen mistresses.

dannyfrom504 said...

"But what happens where a man is clearly married, and the peripheral women know he is married, ala Tiger Woods?
Why is this scenario so common?"

the problem with tiger is what happens when you take someone who didn't get to exercize his "seed spreading" days, and got married to essentially a supermodel before he really became a celebrity.

then he got VERY famough and VERY rich. suddenly he was banging sluts. and let's be honest, those women were sluts and pornstars.

this is the very reason i think guys should wait until their 30's to get married. it's just a phase us guys go through.

re- harems. *AHEM* everyone's aware of my little unique sitiuation withe a few women in the 504 area code. and let's just say, 2 or 3 of the gitls know each other and "our business" remains between me and the girl. if they talk about it among themselves, i don't care. but i don't rub their noses in the fact that i have more than women that i sleep with.

i don't see it as anything brag-worthy. i really don't but they also all know i AM relationship minded and i respect them all on a personal level.

the same way Brody repsects his "harem" and my "blog ho's" don't mind the title. lol.

Spacetraveller said...

@ Danny,

"...this is the very reason i think guys should wait until their 30's to get married. it's just a phase us guys go through."

Believe it or not, Danny, I agree with you!!! More and more, I am seeing the wisdom in this...
Although Dalrock insists that the age at which the text woman marries is the deciding factor as to whether it will work (i.e. late 20s, early 30s being 'the sweet spot' which equates to the pinnacle time for her maturity/fertility/'readiness' for marriage. I realise now that by association, the man she marries will have to be slightly older than this, i.e. middle to late 30s (as women in general tend not to marry younger men due to hypergamy).
I see the wisdom in what you say.

Having a 'harem' if you are unattached, whilst wouldn't appeal to many people - men or women, is actually not anyone else's business, I guess. I believe it is more important to be 'done' with that by the time one is ready to marry. You are right, when Tiger neglected to 'get it out of hs system' so to speak, he paid for it. On the other hand, what if one is unable to 'get it out of one's system' ever? There IS a slight risk of that in men. That risk is quadrupled in women of course...


@ Bellita,

Wow, more and more, I am liking the sound of the Philippines :-) Even when we are talking about a topic such as concubinage, the Filipinos do it better compared to everyone else - i.e. 'better' in the sense that things are done with decorum such that at least the best of the situation is made. The actor with 50 kids is a prime example. That he has 50 kids is not ideal, but at least he makes the best of it. That says something about him, and also about the culture he comes from.

"The insulting implication was that every woman sells sex. Some just have a more socially sanctioned "price" than others."

So true :-)
If one looks at it this way, life suddenly becomes very simple :-)

Professional mistresses?
There is such a thing?! Good grief!

I didn't actually know Gordon Ramsay had a mistress. But I see that this 'entitlement' complex when applied by mistresses is rather distasteful. It is another of those 'hamster' justifications in the realm of 'And I am not ashamed to say it!' because the woman knows she is doing wrong but tries very hard to make it good in her head, failing miserably and trying even harder as a result. It's pretty ugly. But I can see why this happens. In this case the hamster is perhaps a very good 'face saver'. Mistresses need to save face, especially to themselves.

@ PVW,

"There was no way I was going to be party to him acting unethically in his relationship to his girlfriend."

I like your thinking here. Not only would it have dented your self-esteem to be part of this 'arrangement', it would also have allowed him to do wrong to his girlfriend. In this sense you prevented another woman from getting hurt. Good karma for you :-)

I think part of this whole issue is the notion of selfishness. 'I'll have what I want, damn the consequences' HAS to be the attitude of a woman who embarks on a relationship with an attached man, no? Sure, there are always externuating circumstances (I have no doubt that it is never so simple) but...there has to be an element of 'I come first' here, I feel.
And of course the same goes for the married/attached man (no excuses for him either).

Spacetraveller said...

@ JV,

"By no means immune to sticking my neck out and getting it chopped."

Somehow, I couldn't help but laugh out loud at this. Even though I know you didn't mean it to be funny.
I am often to be found headless...
But I just 'can't help myself'.
Is this an excuse or should I be pleased that I can't shake off this burden?
Is there virtue in being a 'saviour'?
Or is it a sin?
Saint or sinner - which is it? Or should there be a middle ground that I should aim for?
I find it hard to find 'middle ground' in anything I do lol. I am rather fond of the extremes :-)
But I can see it might not be a good thing...

Although, the extreme HAS been a good thing for me one or two significant occasions...

dannyfrom504 said...

"You are right, when Tiger neglected to 'get it out of hs system' so to speak, he paid for it. On the other hand, what if one is unable to 'get it out of one's system' ever? There IS a slight risk of that in men."

Chris Rock nailed it when he said, it's HARD to turn down p***y. seriously. and women LOVE a man in a comitted relationship. that's just how it just is. everytime i've had a gf, other girls always came on to me.

Anonymous said...

@ ST and JV,

INTJ women also have this 'saviour complex'...

I don't think it is just the female side of the INTJ personality.

I'm an INTJ and being the "hit 'er done" guy has been a part of my persona since my teens.

At work, it has some serious pay-offs. I am the go-to guy for complex problems, especially those that require cooperation across lines of authority within my company.

In my personal life, I have had to force myself to throttle this impulse.

My second wife spotted this trait in me and used it to rescue herself from self-created disaster. Someone once said that if your in a crooked game and haven't figured out within 20 minutes who is the patsy, that's because it is YOU. It took me a year in that marriage to figure out that I was the patsy.

Bill

Spacetraveller said...

Danny,

"...women LOVE a man in a comitted relationship. that's just how it just is. everytime i've had a gf, other girls always came on to me."

Do you remember when we had that discussion about 'preselection' and I just couldn't understand why some women do this? I know a lot of men report this same finding as you do, where they seem to attract women the minute they put on their wedding ring...
I just don't get it. I really don't.
It's nothing to do with religion even. Whilst it's lovely to see a couple together, especially if they look happy together, I must say the man is automatically 'unavailable' to me. Even if he is not married but is with a woman, he is still unavailable to me. Strangely enough, even if he is unattached but has a baby with a woman, I still feel this way. Bellita mentioned that this was also her 'problem' once on her blog, and I so identified with that. Unfortunately for me (and perhaps this last one is a religious thing), this also applies to a divorced man because weirdly enough I have it etched in my brain that one is married forever to one's spouse in God's eyes whether or not the union is broken here on Earth. This is Catholic teaching, as you know, and why the Catholic Church does not look kindly on divorce. It is an untenable position of course, in real life, as this significantly narrows down one's 'pool' and is perhaps unreasonable too. And I have gotten into 'hot water' with lots of people, even with fellow catholics, on this. It's an issue I have to work on, but the point I am trying to make is that all of my above 'restrictions' means that I find it extremely strange that some women are so dfferent from me in this respect. And of course such women would find me to be strange on this, I am well aware!

Do you men have this hangup? I fully expect the answer to be yes!
If as a single (never married) man, you had the choice between:
1. A single (never married) woman
2. A mother of whatever marital status
3. A married woman (no kids)
4. A divorced woman (no kids)
5. A widowed woman (no kids)

And let's say you are looking for a LTR. How would you rate their appeal to you in descending order(let's say for argument's sake they are all of the same level of attractiveness physically and otherwise)?

I realise that to make a comparison between men and women in this way is not fair because the genders are not equal in what they want from the opposite sex. So whilst I almost expect a particular 'order of preference' from you on this, Danny, and I will understand why, I also think that my view on this should not be strange afterall, because ultimately it reflects a certain feminine need much the same way as your choice would reflect a certain masculine need, but in a slightly different way. If you choose the never-married woman as your absloute first choice over the divorced and widowed woman, my guess is that this is only because she has the highest chance of staying loyal to you because she has not lost her heat to someone else prior. Theoretically. (Of course if she has a 'badass' alpha from her past that she lived with for years but just never married him, this advantage she has over the other choices is somewhat diminished). From a woman's point of view, whilst fidelity is about 'don't abandon me and my children', for you, it's even more important because if you cannot guarantee fidelity, you are setting yourself up for the real possibility of raising another man's child. And that, Danny, I would never wish on any man.
That to me, is so much worse than a woman with ten kids being abandoned...
It just is.

Spacetraveller said...

So my staying away from a married/divorced/'father already' man is somewhat paled by your need to stay away from the same in a woman, because whilst all the above in a man would require the woman to have to 'share' resources and I am not necessarily talking financial resources here, although this is very much part of it, (I also mean time/emotional connection etc. all the things that - perhaps illogically - matter to women) for you it could really mean the ultimate bum deal. Theoretically. And I can see men loathe to take even the slightest chance, what with the horror stories about these things we all keep hearing in the news...
So in many ways, I really could be persuaded to 'change my mind' much more easily than you, on this, and that would make total sense to me.


@ Bill,

"I don't think it is just the female side of the INTJ personality."

Wow, Bill, this is not something I had noticed yet in INTJ men! And given that I am surrounded by them, I find this surprising on my part. Thanks for educating me on this :-)
I always got the impression that they were the ones most likely to say 'pull yourself together!' rather than 'I'll save/mollycuddle you'...
But then again, I guess there is a female way and a male way of doing exactly the same thing. (Note to self: don't confuse the two).

Bellita said...

@ST
Professional mistresses?
There is such a thing?! Good grief!


I admit that "professional mistress" was my term. But this woman had a history (some might say, a strategy) of going after rich, successful men and offering them discreet, on-the-side sex in exchange for financial perks. I think she had a day job, though. :P

Strangely enough, even if he is unattached but has a baby with a woman, I still feel this way.

I remember when my mother was watching Oprah and the topic was sperm donation. There was one story of a man who discovered he had a teenage daughter with a woman who had bought his sperm (a complete stranger, of course), only after he was already married. Oprah treated it as a beautiful surprise. I thought it was a travesty.

It was great that the girl had grown up safely and well (although I don't know how "well" anyone can grow up with only a single mother), but what if she had been raised by abusive people? I was still a college student when I saw this show, but I think that if I had been the man's wife, I would have insisted that we get a lawyer and sue for custody of his daughter. (This is probably why I wouldn't go after an unattached man who had had a child with another woman. I'd want the child to be with his or her father, and I'd see my relationship with the father as getting in the way of that.)

I trace my stance on sperm donation to that Oprah show. It seems incredibly irresponsible to me for a man to give his sperm away, not knowing how it might be used. (I'd say the same about a woman donating her eggs.) The actor with over fifty children I mentioned may be a disgusting lothario, but even he is a better father than that!

(We've discussed sperm donation in another thread. JV and I both knew the case of the unethical sperm clinic owner who ended up fathering hundreds of children. He didn't care that they might grow up and marry each other. I was saddened to find out that his wife knew what he was doing and didn't care. And I was shocked to learn that his daughter was a well-known children's novelist whose books I've enjoyed. Now I can't read her books any longer because I wonder if she was privately as sleazy as her parents were.)

@Bill
I'm an INTJ and being the "hit 'er done" guy has been a part of my persona since my teens.

I have a good male friend who is also an INTJ. Your comment reminds me of a blog post he wrote to say that a man should never think he can solve a woman's problems. Other problems in the world? Fine. That's what men do, anyway. A woman's personal problems? That's dangerous ground.

My friend was also aware of women who will broadcast their problems (in a way that makes them seem more vulnerable) in order to attract men himself.

Spacetraveller said...

Bellita,

"I'd want the child to be with his or her father, and I'd see my relationship with the father as getting in the way of that."

I was about to glibly say 'I agree with you on this'. But actually, I think that may not be the entire truth.
Only 'my good unselfish side' agrees with you :-)
My other side would not be this magnanimous, I'm afraid...although I would hope that I could be persuaded to 'do the right thing' in a situation like this.
Which is precisely why I would try very hard to avoid this type of situation in the first place.
Evidently I know myself only too well...

"This is probably why I wouldn't go after an unattached man who had had a child with another woman."

VoilĂ . All my sides agree with this! :-)

"It seems incredibly irresponsible to me for a man to give his sperm away, not knowing how it might be used. (I'd say the same about a woman donating her eggs.)"

It's not quite the same as donating a kidney, is it? Can you guess my next question, Bell?
You guessed right! :-) Do you know the Church's stance on this? I know the Church is dead against IVF, and most other forms of 'assisted conception' but is there a problem with surrogacy/egg/sperm donation?


"A woman's personal problems? That's dangerous ground."

Hahahahaha!
No man should 'go there'. I concur!

Anonymous said...

ST:

Do you know the Church's stance on this? I know the Church is dead against IVF, and most other forms of 'assisted conception' but is there a problem with surrogacy/egg/sperm donation?

PVW:

Although I'm no longer Catholic, I like to read up on religious responses to secular policies like these as they are such hot button issues in the US right now, ie., health care reform.

Yes, the Catholic church does object to all of these, because they remove the sacred and mystery from reproduction, turning people into products merely to be used and destroying human dignity, similar type arguments against birth control and IVF.

If I remember correctly, Bachiochi's book "Women, Sex and the Church," has a chapter written by a supporter of infertility interventions that don't require IVF and such the like.

Bellita said...

I would modify PVW's response so that it says nothing about "the sacred and mystery of reproduction" before I throw my support behind it. Meaning no offense to PVW, I've had reason to become wary of Catholics who have such an idealized understanding of sex. It's not holy any more than eating is, although, yes, it is a mark of a Catholic sensibility to have a sacramental understanding of both functions.

Suffice it to say that sex was designed to have two goods--namely, union and procreation--and that anything which interferes with this design, by "divorcing" the unitive aspect from the procreative aspect, is "missing the mark." This is so whether two people who are not married are having sex or two people who are married are using artificial contraception. There is a reason that Humanae Vitae (the so-called "birth control encyclical") turned out to be as prophetic as Aldous Huxley's Brave New World.

Anonymous said...

Bellita:

I would modify PVW's response so that it says nothing about "the sacred and mystery of reproduction" before I throw my support behind it. Meaning no offense to PVW, I've had reason to become wary of Catholics who have such an idealized understanding of sex.

PVW's reply:

No offense taken; I'm just describing some of the views I have seen written by traditionalist-minded Catholics who write as public intellectuals.

Bellita said...

@PVW
Oh, you've met them, too? ;)

Anonymous said...

At Bellita:

A few relatives seem to fall into that camp...

Spacetraveller said...

Thanks PVW and Bell for the explanations.

So from what you say, sperm and egg donations are out. That makes sense.

Bell, I also thought of sex as 'holy' as PVW implied.
Not quite sure where this idea comes from, actually, because I see your point.

Perhaps it is a kind of helpful filter for those who need to view it this way? What I mean is, thinking about it this way serves a useful purpose?
I am positive that it doesn't help to see sex as the same as 'eating'. I think the gluttons amongst us would be in trouble if that were the case ;)

dannyfrom504 said...

ST-

1, then 4 and 5.

but what you're doing is typical female rationalization. what attracts men is youth and beauty. the other factors you name are irrelevant to me as a man in regards to attraction.

from a moral stand-point, married is off limits. and a woman with kids is a kind of off-putting to me. i can deal with ONE kid, but beyond that....no thanks.

in regards to fidelity.....don't get me started.

Spacetraveller said...

Danny,

Well, as you know my hamster refuses to die. Where's Dogsquat when you need him...

;)
Thanks for your answers! And your other explanation...

dannyfrom504 said...

masculinity atrracts feminimity and vice versa.

if i see a woman i'm attracted to, then i want to find out if she has a personality the gels with mine-

from there it developes into something or doesn't.

Bellita said...

@ST
You are correct that having sex and eating are not completely analogous. (For one thing, no one will die without sex and therefore no one is entitled to sex . . . or obliged to perform a corporal act of mercy that involves having sex!) Indeed, it would be another huge mistake to go too far down that route, because it would put one's sex partner on the level of one's food!

It's just that I've become over-sensitive to those who go too far in the other direction. The "sex is holy" crowd has attracted some real perverts, and I don't think that is a coincidence.

I think the safest thing to do is to reiterate that sex was designed for two goods and that those two must always stay married.

PS--The one time it is helpful to compare sex and eating is when artificial birth control is on the table. Do you, by any chance, remember an old post of mine that compared the hook up scene to Ancient Roman banquets? ;)

Anonymous said...

@ SpaceTraveller,

RE your 3 July 0549 post about which sort of woman to choose.

I'm pretty much with Danny on this one. My order is 1, 5, and 4. I have less confidence in a woman who is divorced than one who remained committed to her husband to his death.

No way with 2. BTDT and hated myself.

No way with 3, either. I've been a dickstand twice. I am finally wishing up in my middle years. Never again.

Bill

Anonymous said...

Wising up, not wishing. Damn auto-complete.

Bill

Spacetraveller said...

Bellita,

"Do you, by any chance, remember an old post of mine that compared the hook up scene to Ancient Roman banquets?"

Please refresh my memory! Can't find the post you are referring to.

"The "sex is holy" crowd has attracted some real perverts..."

I don't understand, Bell. Would you care to elaborate? I am intrigued by this line of investigation...
:-)


@ Bill,

One criticism of yours and my thinking on this is of course NA-ALT! Which is fair enough. But the point is that people are conditioned a certain way depending on their perceptions or their experiences, and these are equally hard to argue with...
A person's perception cannot be argued with, or belittled. That is done at one's peril, I have noticed.

Bellita said...

@ST
Please refresh my memory!
It was the post "Of Human Life" . . . its title borrowed from the infamous "birth control encyclical." ;)

Would you care to elaborate?
I had a very influential writer in mind when I wrote that, but I've avoided using the writer's name in public for some time (because this writer's supporters are unusually skilled in finding out where people are discussing their idol and flooding in). I'll e-mail you the reason why I think what I do.

Spacetraveller said...

Ah yes, Bell, I found it!
Thank you.
It was a GREAT post. I like the analogy between abortion and bullimia.
Because it is so true.
One really needs to look at things in a 'harsh' light sometimes, to see the error of our ways, huh?
Not easy, but it should be done this way...