Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Fix the nose...

Around the time of Mark Zuckerberg's wedding, I was interested to read other people's take on a billionaire's decision to live a simple, non-extravagant life.

Living the simple life appeals to me more and more. Is this a side effect of ageing?
It is not the poverty per se that attracts me (although I guess this is precisely the more noble of the options I present to you), but rather the simplicity.

Why have two cars where a bike will do?
Why join a gym where a run around in the local park will do?
Why buy a TV where your laptop could do the job?

All the above questions have ready-made anawers, of course.

To the first, a mother of three children under 7 might say, 'Try trasnporting babies across town by bike everyday and see how that works out for you'.

To the second, a bodybuilder might reply, 'Running around a park does not fulfil my needs of building muscle'.

To the third, a student might retort, 'The purpose of TV-viewing is as much 'social' in a shared household as 'functional'. A laptop is great if I am alone. But I prefer to watch the football game with others as a shared experience.'

All fair points, all good arguments.

A throwback to the time in my life when I almost took seriously my intention of religious life is that I have considered purposely, the option of living in poverty (as in 'poverty, obedience, chastity', the hallmarks of religious life).

It is one thing to see poverty as a 'plus' in one's life when one is poor or close to being poor as a result of an unpleasant event in one's life, eg. the loss of a job, or an illness requiring a huge financial payout.

It is entirely another to be superatively rich and just not see the need to 'live it big'.

It is with this thought in mind that I was and still am fascinated by the Zuckerbergs and people like them who simply 'go against the flow'.

However, this post is not really about finances... :-)

My fascination with Mark and Priscilla Zuckerberg led me to read up about their low-budget wedding and honeymoon.
One of the articles I read included a discussion about what constitutes a suitable bride for a worthy man.

It is with this in mind that this comment (by a man) jumped right at me:

And I paraphrase:

"Nice girl, clearly intelligent and all. Clearly has demonstrated loyalty to Mark in that she has stayed with him all these years, from well before he was rich.

All she needs to do is fix the nose and she would be the perfect bride fit for a billionaire".

Or something to that effect.

I considered this comment on several levels.

On the one hand, it demonstrates just how much appearance is important to men. I get that.
This man was commiserating(?) with Mark Zuckerberg, believing him to have shortchanged himself by picking a woman who lacked a perfect nose.
Nevermind that it is possible that Mark Zuckerberg thinks his wife's nose is the best of all the female noses of the world.
Nevermind that the commenter himself acknowledges some of the obviously nice qualities about the new Mrs. Zuckerberg.
All that is not enough: the nose has to be fixed!

Is he an outlier? Or just someone who doesn't like the nose of the former Priscilla Chan?

On another level, (and I allude to this above), it is fairly noticeable (at least to me) that men tend to 'look out for each other' in a way that women simply don't, generally speaking.

I first noticed this in The Manosphere with the Obamas and men's reaction to a video that I dissected in this post. The overwhelming message regarding that video was, 'Obama is a loser beta for tolerating this nonsense from his woman!'
And my assertion that actually, he wasn't really being disrespected at all by his wife, and that besides, Obama seemed perfectly capable of managing his own wife and household... went down like a lead balloon :-)

But I digress.
I find there is something uniquely wholesome about this characteristic in men.
Some MGTOWspecifically state that their refusal to marry women is as a direct result of what they have seen happen to other men who have 'gone there' and who have subsequently 'crashed and burned'.
This may indeeed comprise a small proportion of MGTOW, but the lesson from that is clear enough nonetheless.
Brotherly love. Noble.
'Sisterly love' in this vein doesn't exist, except in very few female circles. I can confirm that :-)
Not to say I judge women for this. It just is this way.

The third level I view this comment is perhaps the most relevant to me. And to women in general, perhaps.

All women know on some level that their appearance is important to men. The multi-billion dollar beauty and cosmetics industry wouldn't exist if this were not the case.
Perhaps somewhat troubling is the trend towards beauty and cosmetic products aimed at men.
But I shan't go there. This post is already long enough :-)

A woman's life may not 'be over' when she stops attracting men, eg. once she 'hits the wall' as our Manosphere friends like to call it, but she sure feels her self-esteem take a dive until she finds a way to bring it back up.
This is particularly true for women who depend solely on their physical attractiveness to attract a man.

As I have learned from The Manosphere, a man is always going to be attrcated to a physically atrractive woman, whatever his particular criteria for attractiveness may be (and thank God, this is a fairly wide spectrum lol).

But most men will also say that of course that is not the end of the story. She must bring something else to the table other than the ability to pass 'the boner test'.

Understood. Loud and clear.

But what happens if the woman is stuck on 'I must make myself more beautiful' ?

I must 'fix the nose'.
I must 'get that perfect chest'.
I must 'have the perfect hair'.
I must have the perfect body'.
To the exclusion of everything else in my life.

This is what happens.

I wonder: did one man in this woman's past say to her...
'Fix the backside'...
Or did she tell herself that...

And many years later, she is still fixing it.

Vanity Wonder (great name, by the way!) says in the article that she wanted to look better than her fellow dancers. Sure. But is this the whole truth? Why do I have this niggling thought that this is just a smokescreen?

If it is the case as in the first scenario, should men be careful what they say to women about their appearance?
Or should it be a case of 'every (wo)man for him/herself'. Learn to deal with it'.
If it is the case as in the first scenario, this if anything provides good evidence that women will listen to what men say!
The reverse, in my humble opinion is less likely to be true.

So, gentlemen, we do listen to you. However much we protest to the contrary. So be careful what you say to us :-)

How best to advice young women on this issue?
On the one hand they should be made aware how important their physical appearance is to themselves (their self-esteem) and to men (if they want men in their lives).
On the other hand, where to draw the line?

I just wonder...

Anything to 'fix' here?


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

What it mean, this misogyny?

One of the beauties of living in a non-English-speaking country is that one hears a variety of accents when English is spoken.
Some of which are entertaining :-)

And in Switzerland, you get the full range. German, French and Italian are only the 'official' languages. There are also large communities of Spanish, Portuguese and Africans of different nationalities (mainly french-speaking, of course).

So the potential for self-amusement is immense.
VoilĂ  another one of my guilty pleasures.

And of course, I give back what I take from the Swiss :-)
My french accent is apparently as hilarious to them as their English is to me.
My German makes small children cry. (At least I hope it's the accent and not anything else about me :-)
Don't go there with the Italian...

It's the perfect symbiotic existence.

I may poke fun at it, but I like it.
Nothing better than to hear English with an accent for which it was not designed :-)
So this post is dedicated to all the people who have ever said to me, 'what it mean, this ________?'

Bellita did a good job not so long ago delineating for us what she had gleaned from her own experiences of the definition and practice (conscious or otherwise) of Manhate.
This topic was so nicely dealt with, that, thanks to her, I am now absolutely clear on what this entails, and I will certainly recognise it easily when I see any facet of it.

So thanks again, dear Bell.

But alas, I am not done with the questions yet :-)
There are always two sides to every coin.

My thoughts having been directed to  the topic of 'Manhate', now veer uncontrollably towards the other elephant in the room.

Over the last few years, I have heard the word 'misogyny' a lot. Under all sorts of different contexts.
And let me add that until I hit The Manosphere, I had never heard the word 'misandry'.
This is the honest truth. Or Truth, as NC would say.

So there is clearly a mismatch in Blue Pill world.

But...a mismatch is not necessarily a bad thing.

I can be persuaded that in this context, it is a good thing.

But I would really need convincing.
I am willing to be open-minded on this one.
So open-minded that my usual request of 'explain it to me like I am a 6 year old' applies :-)

What is misogyny as applied to our current SMP?

At the basic level, a misogynist is a man who hates women.
But how does this 'hatred' manifest itself?

Is it a man who walks into a gym and selects out women to be killed?
Is it a man who beats his wife?
Is it a man who believes women are objects to be used and abused?
Is it a man who believes women are inferior beings?
Is it a man who thinks women are intrinsically evil, all of them?
Is it a man who wants a world where women are in the kitchen, pregnant and barefoot, never seen nor heard (as opposed to children who may be seen, but not heard)?
Is it a man who wants women to be feminine as he is masculine?
Is it...

I have heard all of these examples cited...almost verbatim.
These may be the extreme ones (specially chosen by me to make a point), but there are subtler versions of this.

Misogyny is a word used a great deal by feminists.
I have learned not to trust anything a feminist says.
Because there are lots of inconsistencies there that defeat their own argument.
Until I come up with a post on why the newer version of 'feminism' may be an 'ally' rather than 'foe', I remain sceptical (^^).

I believe I know when I encounter true misogyny.
But has the definition of 'misogyny' widened to include cases which would never have been considered 'misogyny' fifty years ago?

This topic fascinates me somewhat, because I know that The Manosphere is exactly the type of forum that would be first on the 'blacklist' of 'misogyny'.
And yet, I do not feel this way about most Manosphere sites.
Some are shocking, yes, especially when first encountered.
But it must be said, I have encountered surprising levels of philogyny amongst some Manosphere bloggers. And the fact that it is surprising to me is testament to the gravity of the problem at hand.

Why are these men labelled misogynists?
Is it because their message is brutal, aka undiluted, or is it really because they refuse to 'sugarcoat' the realities of the current SMP?
What they say, afterall, is what one's father or brother would say, should his opinion be sought.
But are (current) female ears so extra-sensitive to the words of males because males are disappearing from our midst on a logarithmic scale and we are not used to their no-nonsense and rather direct modus operandi anymore? Is this the problem?

Have women accidentally sensitised themselves to men, such that anything a man says or does is seen as an attack on the female??
Is this a manifestation of the female ego getting 'roided up?

Can a woman be misogynistic?
I ask this because we established that there are men who are clearly 'Manhaters'.

Is the accusation of 'Misogyny!' a new  strategy to quieten down the man who dares assert himself in the face of fem-centric pseudo-dominance?
Is the goal-post being ever so slightly shifted each day such that true misogyny is confounded with false misogyny to cloud the issue?
Are the ever-louder cries of 'Misogyny!' designed to cover up the ever-growing contempt of men (aka misandry) that is destroying society?
They do say that 'offense' is the best form of 'defence'...

What is clear is that the 'devil beneath' has changed its face over the years.
What is so often labelled 'misogyny' may be a smokescreen to prevent a much-needed message from being heard.
Yes, there are some things with The Manosphere which are not necessarily to the taste of some. Agreed.
And yes, there are some heinous examples of misogyny out there. Undeniably so.

But if a man's plea to a woman or women of 'Be feminine!' is equated to the actions of a serial rapist whose personal history includes a mother who repeatedly denied him food when he was aged 3 (and therefore has become a true misogynist), then something has gone wrong.

Clarification is not so much wanted as needed, much in the manner of a thirsty desert-wanderer seeking an oasis.

I have a good reason for this:
If a message is to be delivered, it needs to be heard. Not just listened to, heard.
If what men of The Manosphere say is to be heard, the label of 'misogyny' has to be uncoupled from them.
Otherwise, sensible young women (the target of this message) will simply not hear it.
Because they would not listen to it.
They would have been lost at 'hello'.

A normal self-respecting woman with a healthy dose of self-love, and none of that self-loathing that is often to be observed among a certain crowd will not tolerate misogyny.
And rightly so.
Same as men will not tolerate misandry in any shape or form.

So we need to be careful what we call misogyny.

What it mean, this misogyny?

Is it??

Yes, he committed an act consistent with misogyny... is there anyone who would argue with that?

He called a woman who wanted free Pills a word rhyming with 'rut'. Does this make him a misogynist?

This woman is probably from Afghanistan. I think she is truly a victim of there anyone who would argue with that?

Religious misogyny...does this exist? Why can't I agree with Mr. Obama on this issue? Is it because I sense he is attacking my religion? Is blind adherence to Catholicism blinding me to my own experience of 'misogyny'? Or is this what the feminists would have me believe?

Is denying a Western Woman the right to have an abortion the same as what the Afghan woman above is facing in her life?
Are both equally 'misogyny'?

There are facets of this topic which are very confusing and blurred. Precisely why I seek clarification...

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Coping with unexpected crudity, and Game 1970s style

I wanted to expand on the topic of The Shock factor because it is a vast one which deserves a second mention.

Like female flirting, male irreverence is subject to 'the fine line'.

I think PUAs are aware of this and are careful to advise the brethren to retract if a woman is showing signs of distress or displeasure at something heinous he has just said.
The good guys know when to step back and not go over the line.
Those who do at work soon hear from Human Resources :-(

I am sure everyone already knows this but it is worth repeating here in this context. It is not that women are not equally irreverent.
Two factors collude to ensure that a woman will not show her irreverent side to all and sundry.
1. It really is about social conditioning. If there is a breakdown here, then a woman will feel comfortable turning the air blue.
2. Aside from that, there is also the 'public persona' thing. It depends who she considers 'public' or 'private'. To the 'private' guy, no holds barred. To the 'public' one, she just cannot 'let her hair down', unless factor 1 overrides this.

Anyway, I mentioned about how children love irreverence. Shortly after puberty, I think the genders head off in opposite directions as to their further education with respect to caorseness and crudity.
Before that, boys and girls are equally fascinated by the boundaries of decency, but I think boys are more willing to explore those boundaries somewhat :-)

I remember when I was in primary school (I must have been 9 or 10) there was a caretaker who was a really old man. He must have been much older than my grandparents. You could hear his bones creaking as he walked. This man was perhaps the most irreverent man I have ever met. Seriously.

He spoke a different language from most of us kids, and his favourite pastime was to teach some of us kids the more vulgar slang words of his language. We loved it.
I think some of my friends probably only came to school for his type of 'education' rather than anything else lol.
Once, I accidentally blurted out one of his 'unrepeatables' at home. My folks were horrified, but thankfully no-one made trouble for the old man.
I remember him fondly because of his unrestrained irreverence.
I am not suggesting it made me a better person or anything, but it certainly helped me to lighten up as an adult when I would be confronted with unexpected crudity.
To this end, that old man probably increased my threshold level for tolerance to 'the shock factor', something I find is quite useful to have.

A sense of humour in the face of unexpected crudity does well to diffuse a potentially serious situation.

In this video, Whitney Houston (RIP) does well to keep her composure when french actor Serge Gainsbourg unexpectedy crosses a social line on live TV.

This skill is admirable. It is a big part of feminine grace, I think.

It also accords one the right attitutude to hone for the thankfully rare event of adversity.

If I may digress, the British are generally reputed to have the best sense of humour in the face of adversity. It may of course not be at all related to the irreverence of British humour, but I like to link the two in my head, and my hamster approves :-)

Not to say I am an active participant in coarseness.
I still find the need to step away from 'the locker room' because it sometimes gets rather 'blue' in there.
But at least there are some things I can smile about.
I can drop the old 'b*tch shield' a little from time to, at least just a few times more than your average bible-bashing spinster auntie :-)

Below is a relatively 'clean' sketch from British comedian Benny Hill.
This poor hapless man doesn't seem to have much luck with the ladies.

Keeping it clean, how would the gentlemen here help him to inprove his Game?

Suggestions and explanations would be most welcome!

I realise that going back in time like this is odd. I am effectively asking the gentlemen here to advise their own grandpa, which is very different to advising your son.

Given that some of us may not even have been born in the 70s, and those who may have been, may have been too young to remember what the 70s were like, it is a bit of a dubious task.
But let's just have some fun with this.
If anyone can provide 'context' with their proposition/suggestion, great.
If not, no worries...

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

She's back!

...But only for a short while.
Till the end of the month, in fact.

Bellita has resurrected her blog for one last look at something that's important to her.
The first part is currently out.

There will be a second part later which will be the grand finale for Blogging Bellita.

I enjoyed this latest post very much.
Not least because it is very funny, but in a way that it really is not supposed to be.

But that's Bellita for you. She can make you laugh and cry at the same time.

Um, alright, I speak for myself.


See for yourself!

She has enabled comments, so wander over and say hi when you get a chance!

See you over there...


Sunday, August 12, 2012

I love you mate! (No homo)

There is one thing about men that both fascinates and amuses me.
Well, one of many actually :-)

And I suspect it is a deeply 'male locker-room' phenomenon (read: which means 'don't go there') but I am sufficiently curious about it that I might just venture to the threshold of this locker-room...
If I get thrown out unceremoniously, that's OK. I'll take it as one of those 'hand in the fire' lesssons you learn as a 4 year old.

If however the men indulge me, well, that would be super.

On several Manosphere blogs (or any other blog where mainly men congregate), how many times have I seen these lines?

"I love you man! (No homo)".


"You rock my world, Sir (No homo)".

Or some variation thereof.

This amuses me no end.

As a woman, I have never felt the need to explain to another woman that I am not a lesbian, no matter how 'inappropriately' close I get to her, in words or physically.
I find it increadibly easy to tell a beautiful woman she is beautiful, or the wearer of a nice dress that it brings out her nice figure, or even (perhaps bordering on the limits of decency) that that she has nice breasts.
And yet I know I am not in the least gay. And more importantly, more often than not, I am very secure in the knowledge that I am not being perceived as gay by the recipient of my 'attention'.

And I daresay a lot of non-gay women might say the same.
(If I am wrong however, it is because I haven't ventured out of my head to do an 'on the road' spot questionnaire...yet!).
I realise that whilst it may be totally inappropriate for a (strange) woman to comment on another's breasts or other similarly intimate body part, it is less creepy than when a strange man does it. The creep factor only rises sharply if a woman is particularly 'lesbophobic', which most women simply are not.

Which begs the question:
Are we women 'closet lesbians'? But in a 'normal' kind of way? Whatever 'normal' means?

Women can get incredibly close to each other. I see how I am with my female friends and I instinctively know that men just aren't that way with their friends.
There is always a certain 'distance' between two men no matter how close they are mentally/socially/psychologically.
Women will breach each other's 'personal space' all the time without a moment's thought.

And what's even more interesting, this is cross-cultural. Even in the 'coldest' of cultures, women are still 'warm' to each other. I find this interesting.

I noticed this male phenomenon on Danny's blog a long time ago, and asked him about it. He gave me a very good explanation, which I found interesting in itself especially as it turns out to be even more deeply complex than I once imagined.
But I feel the need for a refresher course on this if the gentlemen here would like to give me their particular take on this.

Female bonding is characterised by a lot of tactile contact. We simply do not lose this tendency until we die.

As children, we are all touched a lot. I watch a mother and child and of course the first noticeable thing about them is that they are in physical contact for much of the time. It could be by virtue of the child being carried, being kissed on the head, being breastfed, being patted on the bottom if he's been naughty (or simply being lovingly acknowledged)...the possibilities of tactile contact are endless.
Children who lack this 'touch' thing get psychologically damaged somehow, I read in a lot of psychology/popular sociology journals or just articles we all get fed with our breakfast on the 'interwebz' as Danny would say.

Princess Diana once famously started a 'hug' campaign, because she felt that some children were lacking this in their lives. I think she was right - there are many children in Britain who are not touched enough. In this, the Europeans - especially Southern Europeans - far outrank the Brits.

Touch is 'healing'. Women understand this very well. And we will do whatever it takes to touch or be touched. Purely for the sensation of touch, nothing more. (Perhaps infuriating for a man who might want more than this? ;)
Is this an intrinsic part of femininity that even feminism cannot steal from womanhood?

I once read about an old woman who, though was not Catholic would go to Mass at her local Catholic Church everyday. I forget whether she was a never-married woman, a widow or a divorcée or whether or not she had had children.
The author of the article is a well-known writer for a Catholic newspaper. She had come across this old woman at Mass one day and got talking to her after Mass. She was surprised to learn that the old woman was not even Catholic and asked her why she came to Mass everyday.

The old woman replied that she came to Mass everyday because she had heard that at Mass, you get to shake someone's hand.
She came to Mass to touch and be touched by someone else, or other people depending on how many people she could manage to shake hands with during 'the rite of peace'.

That touch would be her only physical contact with another human being for that day.
To get her daily (tactile) fix, she had to make it to Mass. In times of bad weather or when she was too sick to get to Mass, she was denied this luxury.
The writer of the article (who was a married woman with several kids) was so touched (no pun) by this that from that day, she made it a point to either go herself to visit this old lady or send one of her older kids to go do chores for her or to just go say hello. They adopted her as 'granny'.

They do say that women have a greater fear of dying alone than men.
I wonder, is a big part of this to do with this lack of touch that 'aloneness' entails?

I mean, if I were to use myself as an example, I could talk the hind legs off a donkey even if there were no-one in the room with me. (The operative word is 'could'. The reality is that I am not actually that much of a talker in real life. I just write a lot lol).

I could quite happily make it through weeks or months without seeing anyone (um, theoretically I believe this would be feasible for me, yes).

I could certainly live a whole lifetime without smelling anyone (!)

Taste? Please, let's not go there :-)

But can I do without touch?
*sharp intake of breath*
Just ask my 'cuddle bunny' why he exists in my life :-)

I see a small child or a dog or a cat or some such small thing or person (that poses no potential harm to me) and the first thing I want to do is touch it. I have never come across a baby and not tried to persuade its carrier to let me hold him or her for a while.

If it's a living being (actually, this is not a strict requirement - see above comment re 'cuddle bunnies') and it is not dangerous, I am touching it, or having it touch me come what may :-)

Is this true for all human beings? Or just the XX variety...

Lack of touch is just one aspect of increasing loneliness as we all get older. My guess is, men suffer too from this lack of touch. Please confirm (or refute) gentlemen!
But when men are younger, it seems to me that their need for touch may be more... um, specific in some ways than for women?
Correct me if I am wrong!
The reason I have been made to think this (note I am alibi-ing for myself here - if I have got this wrong, it is because you are to blame for giving me the wrong impression lol) is that men are much more selective about who they will allow in their physical 'space' and it would typically include the women in their family (wife, mother, sister, girlfriend if she is worth it).
But somehow (and again this is my impression) they are much less selective about who they will have sex with! As The Kings of The Manosphere will confirm, a man with an SMV score of 8 will have no problem with getting friendly with a woman who is a 5 (but granted, he may not go much lower if he is self-respecting and has 'options').
It is the reverse with women, generally-speaking, although (again granted) there are increasing sightings of exceptions to this rule.

And certainly, women have this amazing ability to hug any other woman with no awkwardness whatsoever.
And I have never heard a woman say "I love you, girl! No lesbo".
I just haven't.
A woman might check that the other woman is not too creeped out, sure.
But she just won't worry that she will be thought of as a lesbian.

Yes I have received a few funny looks from women I have said 'You look really nice!' to.
But even if I thought they were mentally labelling me 'a lesbian' in their minds, this hasn't bothered me in the least.
Am I right to believe that I am very much an 'inlier' in this regard?

Fear of being labelled homosexual is just not a prevailing problem on Planet Woman.
But somehow, it is, on Planet Man.

Back to my original question: Are women intrinsically 'almost gay' and we just don't care about this?

In a crude bit of evidence in support of my hypothesis on this, one of the prevailing male fantasies out there is the idea of 'threesomes'. Um, Metak can concur, lol.
And in threesome activity, the two women um, focus on each other in a manner which Metak might define as his own version of 'Feminism' ala Ali G in the first video here. (The particularly relevant discussion about this starts at 1:55).

Will women simply do anything to please a man or is it a case of ...well, 'feminism' is already there and it doesn't take much to 'bring it out' sort of thing...?

Is there a tendency to 'masculinism' in non-gay men in a similar manner to 'feminism'?
I shouldn't have gone there, I know, I know, it's a Sunday and all....but blow me down with a feather I am having difficulty considering that this could possible.
Hence the 'no homo' proviso...

And with that I make a very swift exit from this particular locker-room.
Almost as swift as these two...

See? It doesn't hurt, does it...

Why don't men do more of this?

Why does it have to take a world record for this to happen?


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Olympic ideal - to go for or to forgo?

Like the rest of the planet, I have hardly noticed (read: been ogling) the fine physical specimens strutting their stuff in my home city in the last week or so.

Um, I still maintain I am not at all visual. My hamster insists this is the case and I am going along with it :-)

But nonetheless I admire the hours of dedication and discipline that these athletes have put into their sport of choice. It cannot be easy to have to watch your diet, be in bed at a certain time, train for a certain number of hours everyday no matter what the circumstances or the weather and have a certain 'tunnel vision' that enables you to win an Olympic medal.

I applaud these people.
Whether or not they win a medal, their hard work alone deserves applause. ever, I have a question.
And it is related to the SMP, as usual.

I thought I knew the answer to this question, but now I have doubts. A recent trend has thrown me a curveball that I feel unable to negotiate in my head.

Physical prowess is a nice quality in a man, especially in a young man. I don't think anyone doubts that. Although it is not essential for his attractiveness to a woman especially the older he is, it is nonetheless a source of 'bonus points' especially for a younger woman and perhaps for the would-be 'cougar', the numbers of which are rising at an alarmingly exponential rate.

But I am not sure these pictures help or hinder the feminine experience. Ishall let you decide for yourself, and if you feel like sharing your personal view on this, ladies, I shall be interested to know what you think :)

Is this nice or nasty to you, ladies?

But cyclists' thighs aside, what about physical prowess in a woman?
I have no issue with physical fitness per se.
I think it is a good thing.
Most advisors of women would indeed advise that they keep fit and trim.
Helen Andelin as far back as the 1950s was advocating this, long before it was even fashionable.

A regularly-encountered grudge against 'Western Woman' is that she is too fat, and that she is unfit.
There may be several reasons for this, of course...
She eats too much, she lives a sedentary life, she doesn't exercise enough (and this includes ordinary activities such as walking), and she is just plain too lazy.
Fair or foul?
Especially as we are all getting fatter, men and women. But since men are more visual...

And then we have the other  end of the extreme...
The Eastern European female weightlifter from the 80s...
No-one pictures her when they think of a foreign woman worth leaving The West for.

But a funny thing has happened the last few years!

We don't see these women anymore!
Even the really butch types seem to have toned it down a notch (no pun intended).

Sure, there are still some scarily masculine types about, but there aren't the numbers that had everyone believing that 'sport is just plain bad for your image if you are a woman' these days.

It's a good thing, no?

How weird that in the general population of women, where femininity is being lost little by little everyday,  there appears to be a concerted effort to revive the seemingly 'dead and buried 'in the realm of competitive sports, of all things!

How bizarre!

What is the explanation for this?

Is this a necssary step for these women because they have been poked fun at for all these years and they are finally listening to reason?

Is it that they have simply stopped taking steroids? (Quite a few of those butch women were found to have rather high levels of testosterone in their bodies, at levels in fact that one wouldn't normally expect to find in a woman...).

Is it the water? (Um, I am starting to clutch at straws here, lol, scratching my head ;).

Is it that modern competitively-sporty women are simply more aware that they need their femininity more than ever to counterbalance their apparent masculinity?

Which is it?

Am I in fact right to be impressed by this new breed of female athlete?
Or do the men remain nonplussed and will pick the more feminine-looking woman anyday, even if she is 'slightly plump'?

 How far is too far?

Or...and this thought just occurred to me...
Is it nothing to do with how she looks?
Is it more to do with the fact that she is competitive in a physical manner?

If she trained everyday for 4 hours 'just for fun' without competing in the Olmpic Games, does that make her more 'attractive' to a man than a 3-time gold medal winner?

Is it competition that might kill it for a man?

Should a woman even care about these things?

In other words, if I have a daughter one day and she wats to be 800m champion one day, shall I encourage her in her endeavour or shall I pull her to one side and say, with a sharp intake of breath, 'Honey we have to talk...'

I know of course that I shall have no such concerns if we were talking about my future son.

Am I sexist?
If so, why?
If not, why not?

In the meantime, I am still trying to work out how it is humanly possible for anyone to run 100m in 9.63 seconds...

1986 javelin thrower...
Brit Fatima Whitbread

 2008 javelin thrower...
 Paraguayan Leryn Franco

 And they mostly look like this nowadays...
US hurdler Lolo Jones

 What changed?

I am curious...

Friday, August 3, 2012

Marriage as a career ladder?

With the arrival of married woman Jacquie at The Sanctuary, my thoughts turn to marriage :-)
Jacquie and also her partner-in-crime Stingray have some exquisitely beautiful things to say about relationships/marriage.

NC showed his displeasure at the fact that not many people ahd bothered to tackle Danny's question in Bellita's brilliant post 'Manhaters': 'why should a man bother get married nowadays'?
Some of us took the bait and tried to appease NC. I think NC was satisfied with our efforts :-)

JV stole the show as usual (um, is there no end to JV's talents? lol).
I post here her comment in its entirety because it would seem a travesty to leave something out:
But Belita's Rocky analagy puts words into something that I couldn't put my finger on. You grow as a person. But you also grow as a soul.
There is a range of experience that comes from marriage. And not all of it is sunshine and rainbows. A lot of that growth comes from sacrifice. Not a popular concept in this day and age. But, there's a depth and range that comes from feeling, experiencing,examining and asking the big questions. And living through it.

You can experience love and intimacy without commitment. But there's an added dimension, a quality that requires you to think and feel outside of the box when you can't just walk away when things are difficult. And there's a wonderful dimension to being someones ideal, and being with your ideal.

There's no better feeling in the world than being in love and the two of you being on the same page, growing, and both trying to be the best possible people that you can be.

I know I am not the only one who felt the power of these words.

To me, marriage is still an abstract concept. And it will remain so until I say 'I do'.
I have no expertise in this subject. So anything I say about it is theoretical.
Bellita's response to JV's words is exactly the right attitude to have to such powerful words:
 It takes one who has lived it to describe it properly. While I still see it "through a glass darkly," you have seen it "face to face."

This is precisely why I think JV's words are so powerful. She has lived it. No guesswork here...

I don't usually get to spend time with my married friends. It is usually because they are too busy. And much as I would like to get closer to them and learn stuff from them, it would seem churlish (not to talk of selfish) to add to their list of priorities (their marriage commitment to each other, kids, work, running a household, etc.) by imposing myself on them.

But occasionally, I get a 'free gift' as they say. (By the way, I find this term highly amusing as a gift is supposed to be free anyway...)

But I digress...
One of my friends has been married. For ten whole years.

She is a wonderful woman. As Red Pill as it gets. Very feminine (inside and out), she is a hard worker and definitely what I would call a 'masculine woman' of the type we describe here.
I vaguely knew she is divorced. But I was never curious about that.

Then one day, out of the blue, she told me more about herself than I expected.
In one unforgettable sitting I learned so much I am still reeling from the lesson.

She married young. For ten years she had a blissful marriage, according to her own estimation. Then after one catastrophic event in her marriage she divorced her husband in what she thought would be a swift and painless end to her pain.
But no. Instead, it took her close to ten years to finally get over this episode in her life.

This woman had plenty to be bitter about. But she is not.
From what she told me, I tried to work out why not.
Knowing her character, I think I know why now.

She says she prefers now to see her ex-husband as he once was before that catastrophic event in their life together.
She prays for him everyday.
She wishes him well.
She didn't say this, but I got the sense that she wishes she could turn back the clock. (Even though she is now with a great guy she adores).

I KNOW that she would have done things differently if all that stuff happened now.

I think (guesswork from me) that one realisation makes her the epitome of human strength that she is:
Horrendous as things were with her ex-husband, I think she realises that she was lured into the divorce-court by the hype built up by the divorce industry.

Crucial to understanding my logic here is that she is very Catholic (yes, Capital C) and never actually wanted the divorce she instigated. But quite apart from the fact that she wanted to punish her ex-husband to some degree, (which is entirely normal given what happened), she did not take the allocated 'cool-down' period she so desperately needed and which was freely available to her.
She (much to her chagrin now) accepted the 'low-hanging fruit' that divorce has become for a lot of women.

Unfortunately, the unintended consequences of that is that all of a sudden, she had become the 'bad guy' when it was her ex-husband who deserved to be labelled as such.
She told me that despite what he had done, he blamed her for the divorce (simply because she had irreversibly set it in motion).

If for one second, I step into his shoes, I imagine this is what he might have thought at the time:
"So....when I was a good boy for 10 years, it was all good with the missus. The minute I put a foot wrong I was rather unceremoniously and unbelievably harshly dealt with..."

Gentlemen, is any of this familiar to you?

What's weird is that I could 'see' all of this by simply studying her face when she was telling me her story. So I know that she too could see his point of view now, after many years of reflection.

Some women, I think, never arrive at the point of introspection that my friend achieved in regaining her life after her divorce.
This I find is a major difference between women like her and those who are bitter.

My friend achieved the impossible. I take my hat off to her. And I know that whatever happens in her life from now on, she will be OK.

In the course of one evening I suddenly realised that bad things really do happen to good people...
But what else did I learn from her?

Because the laws governing divorce and child custody are the way they are, indivuduals who want a lifelong marriage really do need their own system of maintaing the high standards they have set up in life.
I found a nice analogy with 'careers'.

Some careers are a lifelong commitment, just like marriage.

A dentist friend of mine once did a brilliant 'compare and contrast' between doctors and dentists. Apparently, dentists, on qualifying are 'good to go'. They can set themselves up in private practice almost immediately.
Apparently not so for doctors. A newly qualified doctor is like a fish out of water. He or she would need years more of specialisation to get to the point where they are 'independent'.
I think the same applies to lawyers, accountants, nurses, engineers and teachers, to name a few professisons.

All of these careers are conspicuous by their requirement for ongoing training.
In some of these, 'qualification' is simply an 'entry level' milestone. It takes years to get your 'exit level' landmark that can get you established in that profession.
No-one sees you as 'fully cooked' in that profession until you have got your 'exit level' qualification.

How does this pertain to marriage?

Amy helped me by saying something to the tune of 'you don't have to be 'fully fledged' as a wife on your wedding day. The marriage itself helps you to become a good wife'.

This helped me because I realise now that this is rephrasing exactly what The Catholic Church has been saying all along (but I wasn't paying attention lol until Bellita and Amy pointed it out like I am a 6 year old), which is ... marriage is one of the seven sacraments. It is a channel of grace.

I am acutely aware that my friend's marriage even though it failed, was very much a channel of grace for her. I know she knows this too.

And even though I feel I should be an expert before marriage to be attractive enough as a marriage partner in this day and age where the rule-book got thrown into the river, I also realise that I should perhaps chill out a little :-)

Where marriage is concerned, I really am a newly-qualified doctor as opposed to a newly-qualified dentist.

It helps me to see myself this way, because then I can see marriage as a way to grow and develop...

If the end-goal is the wedding day, then the marriage is in trouble.

Part of the problem why many marriages fail may be that (again this is a guess from someone who hasn't even achieved 'rookie' status!!) too many people see marriage as the 'exit' qualification and not the 'entry' qulaification.

The whole wedding industry is geared towards making brides see the big day as the former and not the latter.

It is time for potential brides to develop a new 'frame' for one of the most important days of their lives.

Because the old 'frame' is a dangerous one.
A really bad trap that even good women can fall into - like my friend did.

I really like how The Queen's jubilee celebrations get bigger and bigger every time...I can bet that the recent diamond jubilee celebrations were much bigger than the golden, which were much bigger than the silver...

Maybe young brides today will do well to look forward to 'bigger and bigger' celebrations of their marriage timelines. If they thought this way, they wouldn't pour all their efforts (and money!) into the wedding day, which is actually nothing but 'Time zero'.
Because they would be so keen to be saving up (emotionally, finacially, psychologically, etc) for Time 5, Time 10, Time 20 and so on...
If everything one has is given to Time zero, there is nothing left, physically and figuratively for Time 20...

Does this make sense?
If there are any runners among us, perhaps a switch to this as an analogy might help?
If a person thinks they are in a sprint, they will give their all for 100m or so and then stop.
But if they are 'psyched up' for a marathon then they are more likely to 'pace themselves', no?

So marriage should be thought of as a marathon, not a sprint.
It's not a 72 day affair, it's a lifetime affair.

Any excuse to post this man's picture...
And I still maintain I am NOT VISUAL!!!
(OK, who am I kidding lol)

Well, it IS the Olympics afterall... :-)