Friday, March 30, 2012

Film Review: Mandingo

When I first saw this film, it was in the context of a history lesson of sorts, notably Black history, and specifically, Slave Trade history.

When I saw it again recently, this time with my Manosphere goggles on, it surprised me how full of lessons on the male-female dynamics it contained.
I missed all that the first time round.

'Mandingo' is set on Falconhurst, a run-down plantation in the Deep South during the hey-day of the slave trade.
The owner is Warren Maxwell, a widower with rheumatism and a fiery temper (at least against abolitionists) and he lives there with his son Hammond, who limps following a childhood accident where he was stomped on the knee by a pony.

If the overriding wrongs of slavery can be set aside for the purposes of focusing on the point of this review, then Hammond Maxwell is the ultimate 'good guy'.

In fact, even in the context of the slave trade, he was amazingly principled.
Except for one or two misdemeanors on his part, he is a conscientious fellow who is a free agent in the sense that he never allowed himself to be swayed by anyone's moral compass but his own. And he was morally sound, at least far more than the people around him.

The Maxwells' household consisted of Lucrezia Borgia, a Mandingo slave woman (the chief cook, and as was not unusual at that time, virtual mother to Hammond, I suspect even before his real mother died), Big Pearl, the daughter of Lucrezia Borgia,  Agamemnon the chief house slave and a few other slaves including children.

Warren's favourite topic of conversation was the 'Mandingo' - a specific tribe of slave (who hail from modern day Sierra Leone) who were known for their 'strong genes', which meant more money for any slave master who had one. The male Mandingos were prized because they made unbeatable wrestlers.

Hammond, unmarried at the start of the film had an eye for slave women, particularly virgin ones. But unlike his peers, he actually liked (loved?) these women.

He fell in love with one, Ellen when he and a friend paid a visit to a ranch belonging to a family friend and he and his friend were presented with two slave women for the night.
Ellen, the virgin of the two girls noticed immediately that Hammond was 'different' from other white men, and consented to be with Hammond, who gave her the choice to stay or leave.

Maxwell Senior is getting old and starts pressuring Hammond to get a wife and produce an heir for the plantation.
Around this time, Hammond's cousin Charles pays a visit, and it becomes a foregone conclusion that Hammond would marry Charles' sister, Blanche.

This duly happens rather quickly. Blanche certainly plays her cards right.

It wasn't until the wedding night that Hammond discovers she is not a virgin.
Being an expert on virgins, he could tell.
At first Blanche denied this.
But she never regained the love nor respect of Hammond.
Towards the end of the film she confesses that she and her brother Charles were up to things they shouldn't have. In her defence, she said it happened when she was 13. (Statutory rape, then).

Hammond never forgot Ellen, his slave lover.
Following the disappointment of his wedding night, he goes in search for her, buys her and takes her home with him, along with Mede, a prize fighter of a slave man who is 100% Mandingo, and as it happens who becomes the pride of Warren and the whole of Falconhurst plantation.

Blanche is aware of her husband's penchant for black women. When Ellen is bought, she asks Hammond if she is 'for the Mandingo'. Hammond simply replies, "No she ain't".
Here starts the (one-way) rivalry between the two women.

Hammond ignores his wife and spends all his nights with his beloved Ellen. He continuously reassures her that he will never sell her or their children.
When she gets pregnant, he promises her (at her request) that their child will be a free person, not a slave.

Unfortunately that child never got born.
In a fit of jealousy, Blanche attacks Ellen with a whip and she miscarries.
The rage of a woman scorned...
Warren is told of the incident by Lucrezia Borgia. To protect Blanche, Warren instructs Ellen not to tell Hammond about Blanche's misdeed.

Warren becomes increasingly worried that his son and his wife are not getting on with the business of producing an heir for him. He has no idea why Hammond is ignoring his wife.
Of course Hammond never tells his father why he is cold towards his wife. Is this to protect her, or is he simply content to forget she exists and console himself with his slave mistress?
In a classic Manosphere-type 'advice to a woman', Warren instructs her to do whatever it takes to atract and keep Hammond. She retorts that there is nothing she can do to make her husband love her - that he is only attracted to the 'dirty wenches' who do 'dirty' things with men.
Disingenuous. Blanche knows exactly why her husband is rejecting her.
But she would rather make herself seem like a 'good girl' in relation to 'those other women who are dirty' to someone she knows does not know her own dirty little secret.

(Warning: the first 2 minutes of the following video shows a gruesome wrestling match - might be offensive or unwatchable to some).

Things come to a head when Hammond and Warren return from a trip with winnings from yet another wrestling win by Mede the Mandingo who by this time has become something of a friend to Hammond  (so much so that he refuses to sell Mede even when pressured into doing so by his father and others prepared to pay colossal sums for the Mandingo).
With the winnings, Warren buys ruby earrings together with matching necklace and gives them to Hammond to give to his wife as a present.

Egged on by his father, Hammond grudgingly gives the ruby necklace to his wife Blanche (what a contrast with the way in which he gives Ellen the ruby earrings!), following which his father locks them together in their room to 'get on with things' after he rebukes Blanche for drinking too much and neglecting her appearance. Blanche is happy when her husband obliges his father and things seem to be looking up for her.

Her happiness is short-lived, however. When she spots Ellen wearing the ruby earrings, she knows Hammond must have given them to her. Her rage against him leads to her fatal confession about who her previous 'suitor' was.

Warren is dismayed at his son for his stupidity re the ruby jewelry. But Hammond is unrepentant.

When Hammond goes away to slave market, Blanche (desperate for some..aherm...male attention, and in revenge for her husband's open affection for Ellen) calls for Mede to come to her room. She is drunk. The other slaves are aware what is about to happen and try to save Mede from his fate, but to no avail.
Blanche blackmails him into doing what she wants. He is in a classic no-win situation.

When Blanche gives birth to a mixed race baby boy nine months later, Hammond is stunned and outraged.
A man betrayed...twice. First to learn his 'virgin bride' is anything but, and then to learn his son and heir is also anything but.

Cuckoldry. A man's greatest fear...
Blanche is a woman hell-bent on punishing her husband for 'abandoning' her, i.e. making her realise her own worst fear.

The baby is sadly killed by the doctor and his midwife wife to spare Hammond the embarrassment. But Hammond nonetheless discovers the truth. He decides to poison Blanche - and does.
Does the punishment fit the crime? Certainly not, but Hammond was in freefall at this point.
And then he goes in search of Mede his slave friend, wielding a gun. This time, not even his beloved Ellen can stop him.

The final scene is excruciating and brutal.
Mede and Agamemnon finally have the courage to speak up in an attempt to reason with Hammond, who (perhaps understandably) has taken temporary leave of his senses, with disastrous results.
He only wakes up to himself when he is faced with the lifeless body of his father prone on the ground before him.

I must say that I feel Hammond let himself down in this scene. He already knew (and should have known anyway!) that Mede woud never have touched his wife unless he was tricked or manipulated into doing it. When his father, seeing him prepare the poison he would later use to kill her suggsted that Blanche could have been raped by Mede, Hammond knew this was not the case.
But his rage (against his wife?) led him to attack Mede who was clearly the innocent party.

I am pretty sure Blanche could have saved her marriage to Hammond if only she had been a woman of good character and some intelligence. Afterall, I am sure there were many non-virgin brides in her day who managed to have longlasting good marriages. The point I am trying to make here is that she was not actually a very nice person to begin with, so I suspect that even if she had been virginal at the time of her marriage, she would still have been in the same position.
Unlike Ellen, who was a slave and therefore was never going to be in a position to marry Hammond, Blanche was already his wife. With a bit of effort on her part, he could have been 'persuaded' to at least share his time equally between her and Ellen. Blanche however, had taken to drinking, and as her father-in law noted, was letting her appearance go. The really sad part is, Blanche had a lot of potential. She was good-looking, and when she did try, she actually managed to get Hammond 'into her'. But her efforts were too sparse. She repeatedly failed in her role as 'relationship expert'.
Ellen on the other hand was always presentable, even though she was a slave woman. When Hammond presents the ruby earrings to her 'to prettify her', he quickly adds 'not that you need prettifying'.

There is no way to be definite about this of course, but it is quite possible that Hammond would never have gone as far as seeking out Ellen and actually buying her to ensure she would remain his forever, if he hadn't been so disappointed with his wife.
He was so keen to forget his new wife that he went in search of Ellen on the way home from the honeymoon! Blanche knew she was in trouble from then on...
As Lucrezia Borgia later explained to Warren and Hammond, Blanche had 'called for' Mede several times. This implies that she was sending a definite message to Hammond. It seems she really wanted to get pregnant by Mede. To teach her husband a lesson. To humiliate him. Kinda like, what you can do, I can do better...'If you're gonna mess about with the slaves, so will I'.
But what a way to teach one's husband a lesson!
I am sure there are much better ways...

Hammond was a good guy in many ways. He was fair, except for right at the end when his wounded manly pride dictated his uncharacteristic behaviour.
It was his habit to 'deflower' the virgin girls amongst the slaves of his father which was (of course abominably) perhaps the culture of the day. But it is noteworthy that he treated all these girls with kindness and gentleness such that none of them felt the need to flee from him, as they often did with the other men. I am not sure how the film makers manage to convince the audience that somehow these women were not being (technically) raped. But somehow they manage it. Sensitive topic so I shall stay away from now on.
He did not share his father's anti-abolition views and was courteous to slaves unless he felt he was being 'disrespected' - for example when he caught Agamemnon reading with other slaves behind his back, and even with Ellen when she first asked him if their (unborn) son could go free and he sensed possible dissent on her part.

Hammond's 'habit' meant that he had the pick of any slave woman he wanted, but that meant he was sexually unacquainted with white women until he married (and in fact as was the custom of the day, he should have been unacquainted with any woman until marriage!).
Technically, that should not have been a problem.
Except that there was the 'conventional wisdom' in place that the white ladies were 'ladies in the bedroom' and the 'wenches' were 'dirty in bed', so Hammond was expecting this to play out in his own life.
Well that never quite transpired.
He is so principled that when it becomes clear that his wife is not 'respectable', he and a friend end up in a brothel, but Hammond cannot bring himself to break his vows - at least not straightaway.
When eventually he does, it is only with his beloved Ellen.

At one point, Blanche is so desperate for his affections that she literally 'jumps him' much to his surprise (did not expect that from a 'white lady' - not even one to whom he was married!).
Had he not written her off, I am sure her advances would have been very welcome indeed. But sadly this was not the case.

Hammond ends up treating Ellen more like a wife than Blanche. He was gentle and affectionate with her, and her needs were a priority for him.

Maxwell Senior is not particularly likeable at the start of the film. He is a grumpy old racist and loudmouthed man.
But he is undeniably a good father.
And, as it turns out, a good father-in-law.
If only Blanche had listened to him for more than five minutes, she could have made her marriage work.
Warren, I suspect liked Ellen (although sometimes he had a funny way of showing it). He, like Hammond was gentle and kind to her. But his first duty was to Blanche, as she was the legitimate wife of his son, so he protected her by lying for her during the miscarriage incident.
He was keen to see his son's marriage work.
When Blanche accuses Hammond of liking 'dirty' women, Warren's reply is to the tune of 'you will also do 'dirty things' if that's what it takes to keep him'. Talk about straightforward marriage counselling!

Warren has a great relationship with Lucrezia Borgia. She is as much the matriarch of the household as he is the patriarch. In many ways, she was a good wife-substitute for him following the death of his wife. And I suppose a mother-figure to Hammond. Both men respect her.
When Lucrezia Borgia, on first meeting Blanche, exclaims, 'Ever since Mrs Maxwell died I have been looking forward to a new mistress', my first thought was, 'Oh yes, why didn't Maxwell Senior remarry?'
Until I realised there was no need. Lucrezia Borgia was already said mistress of the household. All but in name.

Ellen is the sweet and shy slavegirl who steals the heart of Hammond. Unlike Blanche she really gets to know Hammond and what makes him tick.
She cannot have a real rivalry with Blanche in this menage à trois because she is a slave and therefore has no socially relevant power, but she demonstrates backhanded cattiness that all women when faced with competition and given the slightest chance will exhibit.
After Hammond gives her the ruby earrings, she wears them when she is serving dinner, knowing Blanche will see them. That was the extent to which she could wield her power over Blanche and she didn't hesitate to use it. It was efective.
She was also feminine in a way Blanche was not. So she had Hammond eating out of her hand from more or less Day 1. She may have been the underdog in the race for Hammond's affections, but she definitely came out the outright winner.

Poor Mede. I do have some sympathy for him. But not too much.
He was in a very unfortunate position, yes.
And, to make matters worse, I also think (and I say this with all humility) he was a bit of a simpleton.
Three episodes convince me of his lack of higher intellect.

1. Once, he was asked to chase down a runaway slave by the name of Cisero. When Mede finally catches up with Cisero, he is pleased with himself. Cisero rebukes him, explaining that he was just a lapdog for his white masters. Mede seemed oblivious to this.
2. When he wrestles and kills Topaz, another slave, in a brutal wrestling match, again he is pleased with himself (but in all fairness he did show some introspection after this match). Agamemnon has to remind him of his 'puppet' status. Again, Mede needs reminding that pleasing his white masters is not necessarily something to be proud of.
3. For me, the following is the worst one. When he was asked to go to Blanche's room, surely he knew what was about to happen?! Sure, it is quite possible that he felt he had no choice but to follow orders...but I am positive he could have found a way to get out of the terrible dilemma he was about to face.
He could have arranged to 'disappear' from the plantation, he could have feigned an illness, anything!
But poor old Mede walked right into the trap that had been laid for him by Blanche.

His saving grace comes at the very end of the film where he scrapes together the shreds of masculinity he posseses and challenges Hammond's judgment for the very first time.
Too little too late, perhaps?

This film is tainted with the historical context of slavery, of course, so it is quite difficult to be objective about any message it sends, no matter how unrelated to slavery it seems.
Scenes in which Warren and friends dispute that the slaves have souls, where someone suggests that Warren place his rheumatism-ravaged feet on a little black boy to transfer his rheumatism into him, and the discussion between Warren and Hammond where the latter informs the former that Mede is in fact the son of Lucrezia Borgia (but no-one else on the plantation knew because he was sold at birth) and therefore giving Big Pearl to him as his 'wife' would constitute incest but who cares, they are just slaves anyway, and the cruel way in which babies were snatched away from their mothers and sold are all particularly cringeworthy and unwatchable at times.

But I find the male-female dynamics between Hammond and his women remarkedly representative of some of today's SMP issues.
It is afterall, a classic human story.

This post is already too long, but just a quick rundown on the specific Manosphere issues the film throws at me:

1. Men seeking 'foreign' women if the women in their country/culture/race/religion/social circle are not deemed suitable. Although Ellen was stricly speaking not truly 'foreign' to Hammond, she was not in his 'approved' social circle.
Parallels with 'mail order brides' because western men think western women are not 'feminine' enough?
Parallels with black men seeking non-black women because they think black women are not 'feminine' enough?
Is any man happy with his own race/culture woman nowadays?

2. Men have a problem with a woman's 'high number'. In the era of this film, 'one' was deemed a high number, so Blanche paid a high price for it. Because it is perceived that a high number leads to...

3. Betrayal/cuckoldry. A man's worst nightmare. In a man's mind, are 2. and 3. really connected? In this film, is Blanche's lack of virginity the cause of her cheating? Would she not have cheated if she had been a virgin? Can a man ever forgive this sin? Hammond did not.
4. An older man really can be a girl's best teacher when it comes to her relatonship issues, same as he can be for young men. Blanche had both a father and a brother (not sure if her mother was alive). Unfortunately she got the wrong kind of 'brotherly love' which turned out to be a tragedy for her.
When she lets herself go after feeling abandoned by Hammond, it's her father-in-law who teaches her how to be a good woman/wife - a role one would expect from an older woman, eg. her own mother.
Parallels with the Manosphere 'Woman up' theme?

5. A woman blames a man or men in general for her failings in the love department. Blanche does this very well. "It's all Hammond's fault!", she exclaims. "He likes those 'dirty wenches!"
Fair point or patent lack of introspection on her part? (This has to be the most rhetorical question of this post!)

6. The following point is the most subtle of all...
When Hammod learns of Ellen's miscarriage, he is of course sad too. Afterall it's his baby too. But he does not sit and talk through the ins and outs of how she is feeling, etc. Even though he loves her. Her best female friend would have done just that though, because as a woman she would have known that Ellen would have needed that kind of 'therapy'. Hammod gives her her present and hopes it will cheer her up. Ellen does cheer up.
I can't help wondering if a modern woman's response of 'I just miscarried and you think ruby earrings will fix this' is a real slap in the face to a man who is genuinely showing love but in a 'masculine way' which comes across  as 'clumsy' to a female mind. Do modern women expect men to be like women? And also for them to be men at the same time? Pie in the sky?

Reminds me of a song by British boy band 'Blur' called 'Girls and boys'.
The chorus goes something like this:
"Girls who are boys
Who like boys to be girls
Who do boys like they're girls
Who do girls like they're boys..."

Don't know about you, but my head is spining from the confusion :-)

Ellen of course was in no position to be haughty, as a slave woman, but she still could have been. It seems it is just part of her personality to be 'humble'.
Is this a missing part of modern womanhood as perceived by men?
Are men expecting too much of modern woman? Ditto pie in the sky?

Thursday, March 29, 2012

And the world dies another little death

It is rare to find a 'role model' younger than you.
But I did just that recently.

Albeit in sad cirumstances.
Similar to Sarah Burke, this young lady is no longer with us.

Why do we only hear about these beautiful people after they are no longer here?
And yet we are bombarded with the likes of  Kim K and 'Jersey Shore' every single minute of the day...

Something does not compute.
Something's not right.

Samantha Wopat is the subject of this post.
According to this artice and this one she was a 19 year old college volleyball player.
At 6 ft 1, she and identical twin Carly were imposing figures I would imagine.
They were both also academically gifted and were studying engineering.

The cause of her death was not disclosed.

What a loss to a twin, a family, a community, a nation, a world.

May she rest in peace.

Somehow it is hard to say this about someone who was only 19. Nineteen-year olds are not supposed to be 'resting'. That's for old people.

Somewhere, somehow a great guy lost his future wife.
I am reminded of something Bellita once said on another post:
"My husband was aborted before he was even born."

I sure do hope there is a higher purpose at work when things like this happen.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Manhood United, Womanhood unlimited

I got the distinct impression yesterday that I stepped on someone's toes.
Or the collective toes of manhood.

I suggested in a clumsy way in trying to pose a question, that 'Game' could be a retort against feminism.
I said other outrageous things that pushed all the wrong buttons for at least one person.
As I said in my response to that person, I was not 'fitness testing'. Which is true.
I was fishing for evidence that I am doing the right thing by identifying with the potentially contentious crowd that are collectively known as the Red Pill poppers.

I think we are cool now, Mr Displeased and I.
At least I hope so :-)

But this little episode taught me something that I thought I understood in principle, but I stll fail on in practice.

Never walk into the locker room.
I do avoid the locker room. Like the plague. Most of the time. But occasionally I accidentally find myself in it and then I have to run out again screaming and holding my head in my hands.

Masculinity is sacred to men. Just like femininity is sacred to women.
I get that.
The only reason I and other Red Pill women want to understand masculinity is purely to enable us to navigate seemingly confusing behaviour in men. We need/want to see beyond the haze. This may take some unauthorised trips to 'the locker room' to achieve. These trips are usually accidental, always fortuitous.
Beyond scraping the surface of masculinity, my interest wilts. As it should.

My last 'accidental' trip to the locker room saw me asking if perhaps some men saw feminism as a 'good thing' because it gave some men some incredible benefits.
Someone said 'Objection'!

So although I gave a good defence as to why I asked the question, I take it back.

Feminism in its worst form is bad for society. We are all agreed?
And Game in its purest form is about the sacred assembly of the highest order of masculinity in any given man.

So in penance for my transgressions (Erm, I know how to do penance really well, and we are still afterall in Lent, hehe) I dedicate this post to Masculinity (capital M) and all its participants and cheerleaders :-)

I was talking to a friend whom I haven't seen for a long time. During the course of our conversation she mentioned she had gone fishing with her husband the weekend before.
Not being particularly interested in fishing, I was non-plussed by this.
But she went on and on about this.

She had always resented the fact that her husband does not spend enough time with her and the kids. During the week and most saturdays he is working. And then on sundays, what does he do? Goes fishing :-)


She has bugged him for years about this, but nothing's changed.
Then for some reason, after yet another argument, he calmly invited her to join him to go fishing. The kids were sent off to friends and off they went to go catch some fish.

She said that when they got to the lake and he set about preparing the fishing tackle and the lures and bait and what not, she couldn't help but notice a few thngs:

He took such great care to get his gear together. He seemed to be really concentrating on his 'work', all the while enthusiastically explaining to her why he thought such and such a manoeuvre would work and why that lure or other might not.
And at the same time he also seemed so relaxed and seemed to be enjoying himself.
They sat and he fished for hours.
At the beginning she said she was conversing with him. But after a while, she stopped talking and just enjoyed the peace and quiet with him. She said he seemed to enjoy the quiet more.

My friend told me she now understood why her husband went fishing so much. She now saw what it did for him. She felt it was a special experience for him. She just didn't know before.

Neither did I. Can't say I have ever been fishing. But now I know it can do for a man what a retail therapy session with the BFF can do for a girl :-)

I watched South African all-male choir 'Ladysmith Black Mambazo' sing the other day. These men became the symbol of hope for Nelson Mandela while he was in prison. He took them with him when he travelled the world - to Oslo when he received his Nobel Peace Prize, to England when he visited the Queen, and they were right there with him when he was inaugurated as president in 1994.

The call themselves 'the family'. One of them now has managed to recruit 4 of his sons into the choir. It is a bastion of maleness. A family of men.
And yet women are not necessarily excluded. These guys practise with their wives and girlfriends in their recoding studio all the time. Their children are heavily involved in their music. The next generation of Mambazos are being recruited with each practice session. The whole community is part of their wider team.
These men are a family of men, but everything they do is for both men and women to enjoy.

There are many other male and female equivalents of the Ladysmith Black Mambazo singers.
Any boyband or girlband that can truly call themselves a 'family' - not just a bunch of people thrown together for commercial gain.

Boy scouts. Girl guides or Brownies.
Women's organisations that have nothing to do with feminism. Like some 'Mothers' groups'.

It is indeed beautiful when a man or a woman knows what it is to be a man or a woman. It is only then that one becomes truly open to the other gender.

In individualistic terms, it is one's own sense of self  that enables one to seek and understand another. If a self-identity is missing, one cannot fuse with another.

Lost describes another activity for men only. I think it would be great to have this tradition back in modern life, health issues aside.

Fishing, hunting (and I know that at least one man here hunts), sports...GREAT things for a man to do. If they feel so inclined, how cool would it be to involve willing womenfolk and children (um, occasionally?? if the thought of  a regular stint is unpalatable to male tastes :-)
Many women have their own outdoor 'thing' too, although it may not necessarily coincide with a man's 'thing'.

I was going to include video games and watching TV to the above list...
But I know many women have 'issues' with these.
I know why:
A man who is out of sight playing football or fishing with his mates can be imagined to be doing amazingly wonderful 'manly' things.
If he is sitting right under your nose seemingly ignoring you whilst zoning out on a video game or TV it takes away from this illusion somewhat :-)

Leisure acitivity is on the decline in many ways, for both genders. Shame, because for one it may buck the trend of obesity for most people, being a fun way to lose weight and destress all at the same time.

Work is already something that men can see as a 'masculinity marker'. I can understand that. But unless 'work' is your own business or a passion of yours, a leisure activity, whether sporting or not is surely unbeatable in terms of your own little oasis of masculinity?

We should never stop doing what makes us masculine or feminine.
For it is a huge facet of our essence, no?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Daddy's little princess

This post should really be entitled 'The sins of the Father'.
However, on reflection, I decided that this was not as grave a sin as that described here.
Because the consequences of the sins of the Mother are far greater than this.
Hopefully I can explain my reasoning in a clear fashion below.

Besides, it is only fair after bashing Mama's boys to take a long hard look at his female counterpart.
Equal opportunities and all that :-)

We all know about the possible consequences of absent fatherhood.
Teenage pregnancy, promiscuity, depression, low self-esteem, underachievement in school, delinquency...the list goes on.

But there is another ill in society, less acknowledged, but nonetheless present.

This is where a father over-indulges his little princess.
Daddy means well. Perhaps he had it hard growing up. He doesn't want his little daughter to suffer in life the way he did. She should have the best of everything.

This Daddy is not actually a 'bumbling beta' as you would suspect, ususally. He usually is an excellent husband. He has the right amount of alpha and beta in him to sustain a lifelong marriage, make no mistake about that.
But he goes weak at the knees for his girl. For his daughter.
Nothing or no-one will ever be good enough for her.

But I believe that if he is indeed a beta man, the situation is much worse for men seeking his daughter's attention than if he were a bona fide alpha.


Because an intrinsically alpha man will never see another man as a threat, even where his beloved daughter is concerned. He is secure in himself. He has his wife's support and love and loyalty (hopefully). His daughter is just another woman to spoil :-)
A beta man did not succeed in keeping the 'tingle' of his wife going for long. He is 'king' to no-one except his daughter. Here, he won the lottery. A woman looks up to him. A woman thinks the sun rises and sets on him. Adoration and respect non-stop. Every man's greatest wish.
He will do anything to keep this going.
Even if he is emotionally absent, he will use material wealth to keep daughter sweet.
This is his psycological Achilles' heel, so to speak. Woe betide the man who tries to lure daughter's gaze away from him.
This is the man who caries a gun around when daughter starts dating.
Because he knows his self-built dream concerning daughter is about to be shattered by some little upstart who most likely does not deserve his daughter.

For the upcoming little upstart who wants to compete with Princess' Daddy, how to tell the difference between an alpha Daddy and a beta Daddy?
It's simple. Look at how Daddy and Mummy relate to each other. Who wears the pants in their relationship? The more beta Daddy is to Mummy, the more alpha he will be towards daughter, and the worse for you, little upstart :-)

But, if you are not in a position to see Daddy and Mummy interact, just look at how Mummy and daughter interact. You don't care about how daughter relates to Mummy: all girls are competitive with their mothers, it's part of growing into one's femininity. What's important here is how Mummy relates to daughter.
If you get the impression that Mummy is somewhat in competition with daughter, then Dad is beta. If Mummy acts jealous in any way towards daughter, Dad is extremely beta and you stand virtually no chance with daughter.
Why? Because the wife of an alpha (who loves her) is secure in the knowledge that her femininity is validated by a masculine man. She is in competition with no-one, least of all her own daughter.

Being Daddy's little princess is a good thing for a woman in many ways.
Because she has a father, full stop.
That alone has been shown to increase self esteem.
It also allows a good starting point for a woman's 'man tolerance device'  - her hourglass apparatus. The higher the level she starts off with, the better she relates to men throughout her life.

(But of course, even if she has a low level, she can build it up from scratch. She just needs a good teacher for that. This is where a good mother comes in. But failing that, there are many other sources for this 'education').

In every woman's life, there comes a maturity point that makes her 'ready' to take on the role of wife and mother. This includes being able to look at a man and see a king.
But what if there is already a king in her life and she just can't get past the first king to move on to the second and hopefully final king?
What if Daddy is turning her into a reluctant bride for her future husband?

Similar to the Oedipus complex, women have a slightly different version called the Electra complex where she competes with Mother for the affections of Daddy. Women without a father are at a distinct disadvantage early in life for they do not get a chance to play this game. It is an important step in psychosexual development. However, like every 'lack' in life, it can be compensated for, but it takes self-effacement and hard work.

Just as in the Oedipus complex where a boy finally matures when he stops seeing Mother as the only woman on Earth by becoming a man in his own right, part of a woman's maturity lies in the eventual recognition that Father belongs to another woman, Mother. She must stop idolising him and go find her own man.
In rare cases (and I really do hope this is rare), this step never takes place. A woman is left forever comparing every potential suitor to Daddy, and thus sabotaging her own launch into womanhood. Daddy may compound the problem by aiding and abeting his daughter in this.
Not good. It will always end badly for daughter.

Dr. Kevin Lehman in his book 'What a difference Daddy makes' touches on this subject. He should know. He is father to five daughters.

The good news, I believe, is that a woman like this is in a far better position than one raised in a matriarchy where men are absent or just not respected/respectable.
This woman only needs one thing and she is sorted.
All she needs is a super alpha to topple Dad off the pedestal she has built for him. That's it. Problem solved.
1. Does such a man exist? And
2. If he does, can he be bothered to scale the dizzy heights of alphadom just for a woman? Especially in today's SMP?

*rubs chin*

In the film 'Hitch', Kevin James' character only got the girl (if ever there was a Daddy's princess, this is it :-) when he pulls a super alpha performance in front of her amidst the many 'yes men' she was accustomed to. She only noticed him when he showed his alpha side (coached by Hitch, of course).

Daddy's little princess can be a right narcissist. But as I have explained above, this type of female narcissism is much less a worry for men than that created by a matriachy. Because for all her sins, a Daddy's princess has a baseline love of men (albeit 'bought' or 'bribed' - but as a man, you don't care. You shouldn't care. Better 'bought' but nonetheless present than absent :-)

It is also my opinion that in relation to a Mama's boy, a Daddy's little princess is in a far better position.
Because a woman does not really need to be as independent as a man needs to be, in order to have a successful relationship/marriage. Nowadays many women are independent, sure. But they don't have to be. Generations of women made the transition from 'daughter' to 'wife' without an interim 'independent gal' stage. It worked out just fine in most cases. In fact, close ties to the parents (his and hers) were necessary in order that family links could be maintained between the generations. And of course, the woman was the traditional care-giver for the old folk, his and hers.

In related news, there is a new kid on the block, so to speak, on Reality TV. I have no idea how I get to find myself reading this stuff. But it seems these people get shoved under our noses whether we like it or not. So I am afraid I am inflicting her on you... sorry...I am 'passing it forward' :-)

The new kid on the block comes from 'The Shahs of Sunset'. Some Kim Kardashian wannabe.
Rich Daddy's girl.

This one might actually prove me wrong that Daddy's girls are less narcissistic than women brought up in a matriarchy ala Kim K. I might have to watch this space :-)

Gentlemen, please don't overspoil your daughters. You will make them ultimately unhappy and you will deny the next generation of men of good wives.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Did they not get the memo?

Have you ever sauntered in to a meeting at say, 10 am one day, only to find that you are like a half hour late and everyone looks at you with that look: didn't you get the memo? The one that said the meeting had been moved from 10 to 9:30?

Am I the only one this happens to?
I sure hope not :-)

One of the principles of this blog is that I don't write about me specifically, unless a specific detail about me is highly relevant to the post.
Here is one occasion where I shall use 'me' as a post subject in specific way to make a specific point.

Any woman who regularly reads Manosphere blogs knows that Rule number one is that men want feminine women.
It should be instinctive.
Same as women want masculine men.

But out and about, it seems there are so many women who simply didn't get the memo.
These women may be very beautiful. In fact they often are. Which makes it so much sadder.
Some are even in fact feminine in their behaviour.
I only know this because even if my interaction with them is of a short duration, I can tell, because I am a woman myself and I have trained myself to sometimes see other women with 'masculine eyes'.
It's fast becoming a fun-hobby of mine.

But I notice that a man will not usually get past a less-than-feminine exterior to go looking for a woman's feminine interior. Most men are far too visual for that.
Gentlemen, correct me if I am wrong on this!

If the outside of the house ain't appealing, he is not going to knock on the front door.
Most men if not visually stimulated will simply move on.
If he was a single, tall, dark, handsome, rich, intelligent, highly educated, sporty and eloquent man with Wim Diesel's physique, that's another one that got away :-)
Um, did I just give away my 'list'?
Just kidding...

I digress.
No woman is 100% feminie all the time. Not many women wear dresses and skirts and high heels all year round.
But it is possible to look and feel feminine even in trousers. It is a 'mind' thing. A mindset.
Very few women are 'born' like that, I have discovered.
Sometime in her life, the 'switch' occurs. It could be intrinsic. It could be in reaction to (cough, cough) 'external forces' :-)

I think I was a fairly feminine child. At least from old photos and what I can recall.
But I was definitely not the 'pink and princess' type.
Sure, I had the 'baby substitute'. It just wasn't a doll in pink.

Then I hit the growth spurt which took me a while to complete.
I was definitely a late bloomer.
I think until I was 20 no-one except my parents knew I was actually a girl.
Alright, that's a slight exaggeration...

When I was 11, I had to take a transatlantic flight sans adult. I was being sent to spend a holiday with some relatives and it was not possible to be accompanied by either parent or any other adult on the actual journey. So I was plonked on the plane and I was met at the other end by an adult.

At 11, I was already almost at my present height. I was in the middle of a growth spurt. I had short hair and I was skinny. I hadn't yet arrived on Planet Woman. In fact I hadn't even started the journey. I had the humble beginnings of a 'rack' (thank you Danny for expanding my vocabulary :-) but they were not yet visible through a jacket. My attire consisted exclusively of trousers and T-shirts. I was most definitely in the throes of a tomboy phase as I recall.

Going through the security check at the airport, the beep of the metal detector goes off. It may have been my belt or a bracelet or whatever.
A security guard needs to 'frisk' me.
Had I been accompanied, I reckon I would have been directed to a (gender-)appropriate security guard by my chaperone.
Being 11, and never having ventured too far from my familial environment, I did not see anything wrong in approaching the male security guy who beckoned for me to come forward to be frisked.
I got frisked.
He suddenly looked up at me and exclaimed: 'But you are a girl!'

Erm, I had never claimed otherwise. I looked back at him with a look that said, 'Well yes, I know that! Is this an offence that could get me arrested?'
It was not apparent to me at that age that I looked nothing like a girl. The hurried shuffling of me towards a female security guard was what tipped me off as to what had gone wrong.
No-one had guessed that I was in fact not a boy.
The only way the guard could tell I was a girl was because, can I put this in a delicate manner...his palpation of my corporal entity had yielded some unexpected results :-)
His grubby hands had found some mammary tissue-in-development.

At age 11, one could be forgiven for not exactly oozing femininity.
But at age 30? 35? 40?

Several times I have seen what looks like two men walking together. Only to get closer and realise with a start that one of them was a woman.
If short hair is 'unfeminine', a crew-cut hairstyle like the Marines have is definitely more so.
Tattoos are the other thing that seem to visually reduce one's femininity. Danny gives us an example here.

The other way femininity is being lost is the manner in which some women conduct themselves. Looking like a man is bad enough. Acting like a man is far worse in my opinion. The irony here being that it is often exaggerated in some weird type of compensatory mechanism akin to the exaggerated and often comical mannerisms of the male-to-female transsexual or the older man in drag or a comedian ala Dame Edna Everage (below).

Each to his own.
But I am beginning to see how as a woman, being feminine inwardly and externally is the way to go.
Because I am not 11 anymore.

I found this very funny video on a blog a while ago. I think it was a traditional Christian women's blog, believe it or not. This video though is anything but. Satirical doesn't even begin to cover it!
It should really be in my 'Shock factor' post because the irreverence here is just so shockingly outrageous it is downright hilarious.
Echoes of Eminem here, for sure.
At least you can't claim I didn't warn you :-)

I think Natalie Portman deserves the  'Best Actress' gong for this brilliant display of exemplary femininity!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Nagging revisited

Nagging: Take 2.
I sense a sharp collective intake of breath by the men.

The Nag. The complainer. The whiner. The moaner. The droner. The harpy. The ...
And the list goes on.
OK, so tell us how you really feel about this, gentlemen.

I decided to return to this topic after doing a little homework on the last post on women's 'chitchat'.
Nagging seems to really be the number one complaint of men against women, huh.
Can't think why :-)
I skimmed the topic of women's chitchat in this post but I was talking more of the innocent banter of women.
I am not done yet on this topic, it seems.
To me, and I suspect, most women, nagging is never a big issue. Even the least talkative of us understand that it is good to talk.
But apparently not so for men.
So many films portray some poor guy driven to distraction by nagging. I already mentioned the case of the man in 'Captain Corelli's mandolin'. 'American Beauty' is another one I recall.

As part of the 'research' for this post, I tried asking a male member of my entourage for his feelings on the topic of nagging and all I got was something similar to this facial expression:

No words. Just this face pulled at me.

So I tried a little farther afield. I asked another man not in my immediate entourage but close enough.

In typical fashion I got a two word answer. This is in fact progress. Because I usually get one word :-)

'White noise'.
No elaboration, no qualification, no explanation.
Just 'white noise'.

Some random guy who was not part of this conversation but who overheard it and was clearly going to give me his unsolicited two cents come what may volunteered this in glorious technicolour complete with sound effects:
'It's like this high-pitched shrill, like Donald Duck on acid and helium'.

White noise. Shrill. Donald Duck on acid.
Is that what men hear when women nag?

See, one reason I am curious about men is that of course I shall never be one, no matter how many of them surround me. I realise that I could just take a shot of testosterone and 'see what happens'.
But no. I wouldn't want to look like this:

It's not quite the look my feminine self covets right now.

I am curious, but not that curious.

On a related note, some people really do take their curiosity to the extreme, don't they?
Like the scientist who performed a coronary angiogram on himself. Not content to do it on his dog like all the other boffins of his time, he had to take it to the next level :-)

Anyway, I digress.

I find more and more that it really pays to understand the biological differences between men and women if one is to live in a harmonious fashion one with the other.
For example, how widely known is the fact that women have better peripheral vision than men?
And what is the biological/evolutionary explanation for this?

Men need that 'straight ahead' tunnel vision for the hunt. He cannot be distracted by anything else. Otherwise he and his brood are not eating that day.

Women need their peripheral vision primarily for child care. She needs to be seeing out of the corner of her eye what little Johnny is up to, before he harms himself, whilst she is doing other things.

So, how does this affect relationships?

A woman can check out that gorgeous hunk at the supermarket without so much as moving a muscle. And we do, trust me :-)
Even if she is with her boyfriend or husband, he need not know she did that.
And she would ensure he does not get to know if she loves and respects him. If she does let him know, it would usually done in jest which would be completely harmless and good humoured. Unless of course she has a specific agenda in mind. Unless she means to hurt him.

But a man apparently cannot 'check out' the floozy with the short skirt without turning his head.
If done in front of girlfriend or wife, she will undoubtedly think, 'He can't possible love me, this man. He couldn't even do it discreetly?'
Failing to realise that in fact, he can't.

I can't say I have ever felt like Donald Duck was jabbing in my ear, even when I was a surly teenager and thought my parents were 'nagging'.
Of course, every teenager thinks everyone above their own age is nagging them. It comes with the territory. But I never felt the need to gouge my own eyes out when someone said the same thing to me twice or more.
Is this a masculine experience I will never be able to appreciate for myself? It doesn't sound pleasant, so I am grateful for that :-)
Is it possible that men actually experience nagging as a painful auditory experience whereas for most women, if at all they get nagged, it's water off a duck's back, so to speak?

It is not surprising that what men and women perceive from each other is completely diametrically opposite.
BeijaFlor's post 'Rupture' examines this possibility with characteristic poise.

Somehow, and correct me if I am wrong, I think nagging is actually an older women's game?
Or does she just find more and more reasons to nag the longer she is in a relationship with a man in a way that the younger generation cannot beat?
Or is it a specifically marriage- or cohabitation-related thing? Do women get a quick lesson on nagging on the way to the altar or something? Is this part of the pre-Cana class?

Would it help for men to know that nagging, as unpleasant as it may seem actually means on some level that she cares?
I have no way of explaining this illogical phenomenon other than to say that a woman will find a way to communicate with someone she cares about even if that communication style is flawed.

The day a woman goes silent on a man is a much worse day than when she nags him so much he wants to poke his eyes with a sharpened pencil.
But I am sure many men would disagree with me on this one.
For the life of me, can't think why :-)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Preselection: A different take

The day after I drafted this post, Charming Disarray made a comment in 'The lovable rogue' which made me wonder if she comes under this category of woman described here, at least in part?
Here's (an excerpt of) her comment:

"Concerning men whose mothers and sisters adore them which in turn influences other women to see him the same way, there's a guy I know who fits that description perfectly. And I totally fell for it at first. And then.....there were a few occasions where he showed he couldn't be counted on, and I now grow increasingly impatient with the worship he gets from his womenfolk. But maybe that's me being an "outlier" again. :P "

Hm...I think when it comes to 'preselection', our CD really is an outlier.

Here's why I think so.

There is one popular mantra I have never quite reconciled with.
And I am someone who actually does agree with much of the wisdom of The Manosphere.
So I am by no means a foe of The Manosphere.

But this one issue bugs me. Or rather it did for a long time - until I figured out what my problem was.

My 'stumbling block' to complete reconciliation with The Manosphere lies in the phenomeon of 'preselection'.

I completely agree that women are hypergamous.
I even think it is necessary.
I completely agree that men need Game to 'win' in the current dating milieu.
I completely agree that women need to be more feminine.
I completely agree that women should be submissive to their husbands (note I did not say 'subservient').

But I was fiercely opposed to the idea that women only want men who are wanted by other women.
Because I knew of the existence of many women for whom this is patently false.

I have figured out, I think, what the 'problem' is.
These women are on the whole, 'masculine women'.
And they are by no means the majority.
But they are what one would call ' a significant minority'.

And in fact, The Manosphere is not wrong about these women's preselection.
They do like 'preselected' men.

The only difference when it comes to preselection between these women and other women is...
Preselection whom?

The Manosphere claims that women want men who other women have previously (or have currently!) chosen.
So a man who surrounds himself with lots of beautiful women will have a better chance of attracting a woman than one who is obviously a loner.
A man who is married will often report a higher interest in him by other women when he is wearing his wedding band, and indeed when he is in the company of his wife than when he is alone.
A man whose online profile includes photos with women will often get more responses.
A man who is recommended to a woman by another woman is more likely to attract the woman than one who is recommended to her by a man.

In all these cases, I believe it is not just that the man has previously 'got' other women, because afterall, some or most of these women he surrounds himself with will be relatives or platonic friends.
I think what's more important for the woman who may be interested in this man is, is he safe to be around? If he is around other women, even if they are his own sisters, he is somehow 'safer' than if he is never to be found in the company of women.
Nevermind that he may be a serial killer and his sisters will lie through their teeth to cover for him: the important thing here is that another woman deems this man lovable enough to 'cover for'. If he is someone's 'lovable rogue', that's all a woman needs to know.
Somewhat illogical, but true :-)
Very few women will feel brave enough to approach a true loner without any evidence of this 'social proof' by another woman. There would have to be an overwhelmingly valid reason why this lack of 'social proof' would be overridden by a woman.
Like there are bizarre externuating circumstances - like in a war.
Like he is 'special' enough that her hypergamy (whch is the highest instinct in a woman) is sufficiently satisfied and she is no longer looking for other 'qualifiers'.
In other words, he is supremely alpha and has short-circuited his way into her heart straightaway :)

I get that.

But there are women, believe it or not for whom none of the above apply in even a remotely abstract way, let alone a tangible way.

Because these women are looking at a man not by his relationship to other women, but to how he measures up to other men.

These are the women who are wired to be unimpressed when their elderly female neighbour says with a sly wink: "You know, I have a son who is a doctor in New York. Maybe you should meet him."
Because to this woman, a 'recommendation' by a man's mother is too easy.
Because she knows that every mother loves her son. No matter how much of a 'rogue' he is :-)

This same woman will sit up and show interest if her married male co-worker says to her, "My old college room-mate is coming to town from New York to go to the game /go hunting /spend time at The Hamptons with me. He is single and 'looking'."


Because the man of interest has been endorsed by another man. Who is the best judge of men.
Because these women want to know how much a man squares up to his peers, i.e. other men. They don't care how many women a man has beddded (in fact they are put off by a man who has a high 'number'), but instead want to know how many men he has beaten in competition, whatever that competition my be.
These women are judging a man by his higher functions rather than his baser achievements.

These are the same women who will use words like 'honour' and 'respect' in their everyday vocabulary.
And they are certainly judging men as a man would judge a man.

And so when the guy they are dating drops the bombshell that he is married, or is in a relationship, hoping this will make the woman more interested in him, he is blindsided by the fact that she can't leave his presence fast enough, never to return.

For these women, (current) preselection by other women, i.e. anything other than strict monogamy is an automatic deal-breaker, their 'non-negotiable'. Past preselection is negotiable, but only if it was kept at a minimal level. They won't be part of any harem, soft or hard, for sure.
And they never listen to 'the herd' unless 'the herd' has something sensible to say about a man.
They will happily date the geek no-one wants, as long as the geek has the respect of his fellow geeks.

There is always a silver lining :-)

So... I don't really know if CD falls squarely into this category or not, i.e. I don't know if she was never ever going to be impressed by the man's female entourage's pedestalisation of him at all anyway, or if she really 'joined the herd' in the sense of agreeing with them about how great this guy was, and only backtracked when she discovered the herd's analysis of the situation was 'inaccurate'.
I dunno.
Perhaps CD could clarify, in light of what I have discussed in this post?

Any other woman feel this way about how they 'assess' men?
Any man notice this phenomenon play out in a woman he knows?

Disclaimer: I don't necessarily think that this alternative 'preselection' pattern by a minority of women is superior to the usual preselection one. I just find it interesting enough to write about :-)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The lovable rogue

So, to summarise the message about what men want in a woman, would I be correct in saying that a man wants a woman who is not a word rhyming with 'rut', but shows signs of and wants to become his word rhyming with 'rut'? He wants exclusive rights to her. Forever.
Or am I missing a huge piece of the puzzle?

Anyhow, I was thinking about what would summarise what women want in a man.
It struck me that all the articles/books/blogs and courses on 'Girl Game', i.e. teaching women to be more feminine all have one thing in common.
They all focus on getting women to adopt the attitude that all men are rogues. And to accept them as such.

Yes. It's true.
But don't panic.

I forgot the crucial word.
Lovable rogue.

That's it right there.

I think this is the source of a woman's love for any man. It doesn't even have to be a romantic partner. Absolutely any man.
It could be her father, her boss, her pervy co-worker, her annoying little brother.
If she can see all or most men as 'lovable rogues', she can handle any guy.

Maybe this is what went wrong with the whole nth wave feminism thing.
This crucial element of femininity flew out the window.
And for the first time in history, we had women who really hated men.
It may have started out as some weird form of p-envy like I suggested before, but then it certainly graduated into full-blown hatred in some cases.

And then the Pandora's box was well and truly opened, and we will have difficulty finding the lid nevermind closing the box.

All men are 'tricky b*st*rds' :-)
And we women being the celestial bodies that we are, have to put up with them :-)


I think there is an inbuilt 'male tolerance' hourglass device that all women are born with. I have no scientific proof for this apparel but I think I can see evidence of its existence.
Look how little girls adore Daddy and then forty years later how the same girl might treat her beta husband.

Allow me to explain.
I think this hourglass device is filled up to the brim with sand at birth. Look at it like the biological clock thing. A woman has a finite number of eggs and a finite tolerance to men from Day 1.
Both can only deplete with time.

If a girl has good experiences with men throughout her life, her hourglass thing will still be relatively full even in her fifties.

If she has to deal with more than her fair share of 'Swiss bankers'** in whatever shape or form that may take, the device gets emptied out alarmingly rapidly.
And when she's out, God help the next guy she stumbles across.
Not her fault, perhaps?
Same as you wouldn't blame a car if it wouldn't start because you didn't put petrol in it?
I dunno.

So, how does a woman avoid depleting her stores of 'man tolerance'?
I really don't know.

Some women perhaps have a huge supply.
These women are probably at risk of becoming the Mama of  Mama's boys. Or the 'enabler' as in the sister or female cousin of a Mama's boy. These women are (annoyingly, to other women) very protective of their menfolk, sometimes unreasonably so :-). And they are almost always a product of patriarchy as opposed to matriarchy.
Others are born with small quantities to begin with.
Perhaps men would be better advised to find out the size of this device in a woman rather than checking out the size of her 'rack', but somehow, I don't think this would work, because that would be like asking gorillas to stop eating bananas :-)

Having a good Dad can certainly help. Because he is the first man in a woman's life.
Having  a good Mother is crucial here, because she can cultivate this attitude in a girl from a young age. And how Mother treats Father, in front of daughter goes a long way in her 'education' on men.

But how can men themselves avoid getting the raw end of the deal?

Well, women already think you are a rogue. Even your mother. Especially your mother :-)
If you don't believe me, try eavesdropping on her next conversation with the girl who lives four doors down from you. You know, your ex.
Huh? You didn't know she was still talking to your ex?
*shakes head*
Trust me, she is. And she is telling her all about your recent shenanigans.

But that's all good.
The fact that you are considered a rogue is not all bad.
Beacuse you could be a lovable one.
Good job you don't have to 'game' your mother or your sisters because they already think you are lovable and that the sun rises and sets on your __________.
(Unless you did something bad to upset them - ala Christian Bale and Eminem - and even so, after the 'cooling down' period, you will be back in everyone's good books again).

A man who demonstrates that he actually likes women can be forgiven all sorts of howlers by a woman who notices this.
Yes I am looking at you Danny :-)

The guys we all love to hate on and call 'badass alphas' are perhaps not all in the same category.
I am sure most of them are true 'badass alpha'.
But a few are perhaps 'mis-labelled'.
They are rogues who are actually truly lovable in the sense that they don't just turn on the charm when it suits them, but actually have a heart which they only reveal to precious few.
So they are lovable rogues, but only one 'special' woman gets to see that.
A good example might be Captain Corelli.

So, gentlemen, if this applies to you (you are 'looking', you are 'interested' or you 'might be tempted if the opportunity presents itself' :-) you will be happiest if you are some woman's 'lovable rogue'.

We all know you are not an angel :-) but in all fairness neither is this woman.

But she should see you as a lovable rogue such that no matter how unlovable you become to everyone else, to this woman, you will still be lovable, even if she needs some time to cool off after one of your 'antics'.

It is important to remember here that women are generally herd creatures. Some women are picky about which herd they belong to, but they are still herd creatures nonetheless.
If you are already surrounded by women who think you are a lovable rogue, i.e. mother and sisters, any new woman who joins the herd around you will adopt the herd mentality where you are concerned. If none of your female entourage think you are lovable, it would take a very brave woman indeed to take you on. These women exist of course, but they are rare, and you would have to be rather special for her to do this :-)

This is part of the deal with the whole female behaviour regarding 'preselection'.
It is an inbuilt female mechanism to ensure her own 'safety'. Her lovable rogue will not harm her. Even if he harms others (outside the herd).
Unfortunately, a woman is also capable of rationalising a truly bad man as a 'lovable rogue' when this is really not the case. But there we are.

Why would a woman do this?
Because she wants a 'lovable rogue'. So even if he is a true rogue, she will do her best to make him 'lovable' in her mind. Until it is clear that he is indeed just another rogue. Forget lovable - just another run-of-the-mill unlovable rogue. At this point, the end is nigh. Unless she can somehow find a way to top up on her hourglass device :-) Which usually involves some sort of divine intervention :-)

In general, though, for a successful longterm relationship, she, as the relationship expert, has to see you as this 'lovable rogue'. Real or imagined.
I know what y'all are thinking...
Wake up and smell the coffee, Spacetraveller! No such thing!

Ok, Ok, I hear ya.
Just saying...

I love the film 'Legends of the fall'.
If anyone has seen it, first one to volunteer which of the three brothers is the 'lovable rogue' and why, gets a gold star :-)
(Hint: This is not a trick question).

**Euphemism as is common in British 'Cockney rhyme' to describe a man who is 'not very nice'. Substitute 'w' for 'b' and remove the word 'Swiss'. If still not sure what it means, Wikipedia to the rescue!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Failure to launch and the Mama's boy

In the last post, I forgot this phenomenon as yet another way that young women are being robbed of men :-)
So I shall address this issue and my thoughts thereof here.

This time, it is not God or homosexuality or consanguity or the MGTOW movement that is the culprit in question.

This time, it is none other than Big Mama herself.
Yes, sweet darling (potential) Mommy-in-law.
And the man-baby she is enabling in his infantile ways.


(Um, I think I might have put on a red dress by mistake this morning, Grasshopper

Since 2003, Italy has been paying her people to have kids.
Sweden was doing this way before that.
I am sure there are lots of other countries with a tradition like that.
China's one-child policy seems to have found its antagonist elsewhere in the world.

Specific countries are declining in population. Italy, in 2050 will have 15 million fewer people than ten years ago. The full article can be found here.

I am not really interested in the reasons for the above policies because I am already familiar with them. Not enough people are marrying - marriage still being the preferred environment for raising children. People are marrying later in life, with the result that even if they do get married, they really only have time for one or a few children.
Somehow, the people having many children are not in large enough numbers to buck the trend.

And then there is the question of religion. Some Catholic countries where contaception is a no-no would expect their numbers to...

Seat of Catholicism.
A high proportion of Italian children under 10 are now an only child.
Is China a favourite holiday destination among Italians by any chance?

In Italy, a specific issue has been indicted as a prominent factor in the population-declining debacle. The phenomenon of 'Mama's boys'.
It has a name: 'mammismo'.
Mama's boys exist all over the world, I am sure. But they seem to have their headquarters in Italy.

The film 'Failure to launch' starring Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew McConaughey touches on the issue of a man who fails to cut his ties to his parents. The parents of McConaughey's character pay a woman to get their 35 year old son out of their house and into a place of his own. As usual, there is always a hitch (a crisis) and then a hitch (a wedding). Total chick flick, but enjoyable.

The point about Italy though, is that unlike McConaughey's parents, Italian mothers are not so quick to get rid of their grown sons. They want him at home. All the while moaning that he is not providing them with grandchildren when Lucia from across the road already has five and she is ten years younger.

This symbiotic relationship seems to coexist quite nicely for the pair of them.
But not everyone is happy of course.

Young and pretty Maria who has had her eye on Luigi for a while now is not getting a look in. Because his sixty year old mother is the apple of his eye.

Is this phenomenon of 'Mama's boys' just a public shaming tactic of men who have a great relatoinship with their mothers (something women claim they like in men) or is this a recognition of a man-child who never outgrew his Oedipus complex?
An expert gives his opinion below:

 "The traditional family unit was historically the only guarantee of survival in uncertain times," says Roberto Vincenzi, a professor of psychotherapy in Genoa. Vincenzi says the key factor that keeps Italy's "figli per sempre" (sons forever) home in greater numbers than daughters is the sons' stronger attachments to their mothers. Proietti believes that mammismo has its roots in the traditional role of the Italian (and Latin) woman, who often felt unfulfilled before career and divorce were options. "She thus poured her love into her children. Over time, the son became a sort of husband to his mother, without the sexual component," she says. Vincenzi says the mother-son bond becomes pathological only when it impedes the son from growing up.

Erm, do I spot an example of  'The sins of the mother' here? Mother wants a substitute husband?
And what about the son? Is he really being noble to Mother or is he just afraid of the responsibility of having his own family? Using poor old Mother as the excuse? Is this what psychiatrists call folie à deux?
Or is it really the economic crisis? That would be understandable, of course.

Not having experienced Oedipus complex myself, I do not know how it affects a man. I have an idea but I do not claim to be an authority on it.

Women have their own 'Electra complex' of course. Interesting that it coincides on a temporal basis with p-envy.
Anyhow, the consequences for society must be far greater with Oedipus than Electra, surely.

A man should be fully independent of his parents before he can take on a woman. A woman does not really need to be. Modern society is such that she often is, but in fact things worked out quite nicely when she wasn't, no?

What's the deal with the Mama's boy? He is not the classic MGHOW, but he may bridge both camps.
Does he really need a woman to lure him away from Big Mama's apron strings? Does he want a woman who is identical to Mama? Is that the issue at hand that no-one is admitting to?
Would this not be a little, well...creepy and weird?
Because afterall, a Mama's boy is far from identical to a woman's Daddy, right?...Because at least Daddy broke away from his mother long enough to have kids...

Can young women be blamed if they don't want to take on Big Mama?

Because afterall, let's face it - Big Mama can be a formidable opponent.

Just ask Ray Barone's long-suffering wife Debra.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

He wants to be a priest

This one is for the ladies. (But you are of course welcome to chime in gentlemen :-)
Has anyone pulled this one on you?

I suppose this post really outght to be entitled 'In defence of Catholic priests' to pair off nicely with this post.
But somehow, I prefer to spin it differently this time.

I am friends with many Catholic priests, young and old. I guess it comes with the territory of being a Catholic.
Priests are people too :-)

But it is precisely this thinking on my part which could lead to all kinds of problems. I am reminded of a comment Bellita made in one of her posts ages ago, where she describes making cookies for her local Catholic priest. In this case it turns out he is diabetic and doesn't actually like/want the cookies for this reason...but I sympathise with Bellita's goodwill.

Many women, at least in traditional Catholic circles are brought up to keep in mind that they have a duty to their local clergy, not just to their immediate family. When I was small, it was not unusual to have priests over at my childhood home, for Sunday lunch or a little picnic especially as catechism classes for all the local children by the seminarians from the local 'priest school' were sometimes held at my house.
You could say I kinda grew up with priests (and nuns).

In many traditional societies, there is always a woman (young or old) whose (usually but not exclusively, unpaid) job is to look after the local priest - be a kind of housemaid for him. This is a noble job. This woman could be single or married, no matter.
Families take it in turns to host the priest, like my family did throughout my childhood.
Because otherwise, it can be a pretty lonely life for a priest, especially if he is posted to a remote place.
Yes I am aware that this arrangement went horribly wrong in many instances with the whole abuse scandal. It is not the focus of this post however.

Fast forward several years and I continue my habit of hanging around priests. It is quite the culture shock to see that one young priest I know is very good at keeping women at arms' length, quite literally. If you go to kiss him on the cheek, he will bow his head in such a way as to thwart you. I know this is automatic with him. I get it. I see it as a kind of 'b*tch shield' for priests :-)

It fascinates me. Because of course it makes me realise that priests are men too.
And these men are special in that they are called to remain celibate for life.
A nun would kiss or hug anyone, I notice. But then again a nun may not have quite the same problem as a priest.

A woman, whether she likes it or not is a 'distraction' to a man - whoever he is, priest or pauper, prince or philosopher.
Islam is obviously not oblivious to this :-)
But I am not sure shrouding women in total body cover is quite the best solution :-)
Although I think Danny would have preferred this option had it been available in the situation he describes here where he is distracted by a female patient's attire.
Whilst my priest friend is not made to suffer to this degree, at least not by me nor the women in his social circle, I understand his and other priests' predicament. At least I can imagine what it must be like for them.

I guess no-one is born a priest. I have not and will never ask, but I am sure all my priest friends would have romantic stories to tell from their pasts. It is known that Pope John Paul II had a girl he was in love with before he became a priest.
Which brings me nicely to the essence of this post.

How does a woman feel when her ex-boyfriend one day becomes the Pope?
I mean, how does one deal with the fact that your guy cheated on you with God?
I am being deliberately provocative here, of course. It's one thing to see God as the ultimate practitioner of Game, but it is another entirely to see him as a woman's rival for the affections of a man :-)

It is said that nuns are 'brides of Christ'.
But so are priests in a way. Not to see tham as 'feminine' in normal terms, but just in relation to God.

How hurtful is it for a woman to know that her man has been 'stolen' from her by God?
Is this situation livable?
I would dearly love to hear from any woman who has been in this situation. I am conscious of the fact that this might be a painful story to tell however.

But men can be 'taken away' from women in other ways, of course.

In some ways, it is 'personal'.
Like when you find out your husband is gay on your wedding night, or after ten years of marriage.
Like he died (in which case, we are back to God being 'the accused' in a way).
Like the guy you've been dating for six months turns out to be your long-lost brother.
Like your husband cheated on you and he is now making plans to leave you and stay with the other woman.

Or it could be 'general'.
Like the whole MGTOW movement :-)

OK, OK, I couldn't resist throwing that in...


The point is, how does a woman deal with her greatest fear - to be abandoned by a man, in whatever form that may take?

For that matter how does a man deal with his girlfriend leaving him to go become a nun? I am sure this is rarer than a man leaving for the priesthood.

Before I get the obvious retort, might I pre-empt by sympathising with those men whose wives suddenly become 'nuns' whilst still in the marriage, for no apparent reason.
I guess this situation is not funny either.

 Pope JP II - rest in peace

Ladies: How would you feel if this was your ex-fiancé or ex-boyfriend...

This priest (Fr Alberto Cutie) of course did it the other way round :-)
I know what y'all are thinking: With looks like that and a surname like that, what was he thinking going into the priesthood in the first place? :-)

Related question for you ladies: does it ever get 'distracting' to have a young attractive priest at church? Or does it actually help the faith along nicely?
I ask because one of my aunts jokingly says that she only goes to church because the priest is 'cute'. And she is married! Ha ha :-)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The shock factor

This is a word that the British are familiar with.
There are certain factions of well-known British comedy which are only funny precisely because of their irreverence.
Think Benny Hill or the 'Carry On' films.
Some might be bordering on the offensive, some might be erotic, some might even be racist or sexist.
British comedy is known primarily for its naughtiness. Combined with feigned innocence, usually over the top.
These guys are kings of the double entendre.
The kind of stuff that would make your hair curl, as we say.
The kind of stuff that is forbidden, at least in polite company.
Stuff that would make your grandma put both hands to her cheeks, but smile at nonetheless.


is exactly what I mean. And it is the cleanest one I could find. Barabara Windsor, Kenneth Williams, Sid James. The British Royalty of Toilet Humour.

On a related note, has anyone read the crime thrillers of British writer James Hadley Chase?
Interestingly, most of his books are written in 'American' style, and most are in fact set in the US.
JHC is a great writer. I absolutely LOVE his writing style.
It strikes me however, that perhaps the reason I love his style has something to do with the fact that he loves to 'shock'.
Which makes most of his plots so amusing.
But some just end up freaking you out on many levels. If you have ever read 'No orchids for Miss Blandish' you will know exactly what I am talking about...

Children are naturally irreverent. You know, the whole bodily accoustics thing seems to tickle their fancy. Until society trains them otherwise. And even so, girls seem to outgrow this sort of thing much faster than boys :-)
Adults who are irreverent are in three categories only:

1. They had a frontal lobe removed or damaged in some freak accident or procedure. Has anyone met a person who had a frontal lobotomy? The disinhibition is staggering to behold.

2. They are British comedians as above.

3. They are men.

Say what?
I am not kidding.
I am not one for generalising usually, but I shall have to make an exception here :-)
All men do this. Even the so-called 'nice boys'.

Every boy and man I know has done this. And every boy or man I don't know has done this.
It starts in childhood and it never quite ceases.
A couple I know has two little boys aged 5 and 3. I went to theirs for dinner once. It was early evening on a summer's day. It was bath time for the boys shortly after my arrival. Big mistake.
After their bath, both boys proceeded to run around the entire house naked determined to show Auntie Spacetraveller their 'friends'.
Mum was scandalised. And the boys knew this. I could tell by the expression on their faces. They were loving it that Mum was so embarrassed. I soon realised that it was the shock factor that they were relishing. The more Mum and I acted shocked, the more they did it and the more they howled with laughter.
These were Mum's exasperated words to the boys:
'Didn't we talk about this, boys? What did I tell you about showing your _______ to the girls?'

Ah. So it had happened before. Presumably at playschool or kindergarten.
Dad was not bothered by this stunt. He seemed proud of his mini-mes. He was enjoying this as much as his sons.
Mum couldn't stop apologising. Which amused me somewhat.

A 5 year old does that and it's amusing. A 35 year old does that and it's either 'hello alpha' or '911'.
Context, as they say is everything.

I have noticed that in the same way that women like to 'mock complain' about men they like or love, men like to 'tease' women. They really enjoy making a woman blush or wince. The more she blushes the better. Is this a form of 'negging' by any chance?
If they like a woman this may be done in good humour, as in 'Are those real?'
If they don't, it could be quite unpleasant as in 'Nice dress, my elderly aunt's got one just like it'.
And it really depends on the sense of humour of the woman in question and the nature of the relationship with the man.
Again, context is everything.
If done right :-)
If done clumsily :-(

My former boss was once trying to get me to be time-efficient. He is super talented in this. He crams more into an hour than I would manage in a day. In trying to get me to understand how to utilise my time better, he advised me to follow his example.
'Even when I am ___________ my wife, I am planning my next presentation'.

Total embarrassment especially as others were well within earshot.
But I guess that was the whole point.
Blush or wince.
He and I got along great, but we were not on those kinds of terms. He was not my 'buddy'.
It was uncalled for.
This is the sort of thing that could get a man into trouble if done in the wrong context.
We are both British with suitably irreverent humour, so I did not show I was offended. But I was.
Even though I knew he meant no harm. And he is like that. Totally irreverent.
The same thing said to me by a male 'buddy' however would have been viewed in an entirely different manner.

I wondered if this 'shock factor' thing was some kind of male 'fitness' test. I now believe it is not. Because men don't do fitness tests. Again I ask - is this a form of negging? If so, why neg a woman one is not interested in romantically?
Or is it simply 'saying it as it is'.
Or 'speaking one's mind'.

Which brings me to another important point.
All the 'feminine etiquette' rules consider 'plain speaking' in a woman as a 'no-no'.
I see why.
Because it is very much a masculine trait.
Like swearing.
Not to say women don't or shouldn't swear.
But women are certainly punished more severely for it than men. Just like 'women who speak their mind' are labelled in unfavourable terms.

This 'plain speaking' trait of men can be a source of distress to women. Because of the shock factor it entails. So in this case, it is not so much blush or wince but cry :-(
On some level a woman goes courting trouble when she asks a man, 'does my bum look big in this?' because she definitely does not want to hear the brutal truth. But she doesn't want a man who will fail this test by overpedestalising her either. The clever men know when to keep their mouths shut :-)

I remember a scene in 'Sex and the city' when Carrie Bradshaw tells 'The Russian' that her friend Samantha has just been diagnosed with breast cancer.
The Russian deems it appropriate at that precise time to tell Carrie of his own female friend who had been diagnosed with breast cancer and who had subsequently died from it.
Carrie did not need to hear that story at that time. She was visibly frightened for her friend Samantha, and did not need to be reminded of the possibility that her friend might die.
Try as she might, she just couldn't get The Russian to understand this.
In the end, Carrie gave up.
The Russian was not wrong. People with cancer die all the time. But Carrie did not need the facts at that particular moment. Omission or 'bending of the truth' would have been a kinder strategy by The Russian.

I had a similar experience. I was in conversation with a male friend about a family friend's adult son who had learning difficulties and whose loving mother was hoping to find him a wife.
This is a dear family friend's son. He is practically my brother.
My male friend found nothing wrong in telling me that in his country, they would lob off my 'brother's _________s off in double quick time because he is disabled.
Fair enough. I know that happens in certain societies. But I was disproportionately hurt to hear this about my 'brother'. Perhaps illogically so, yes. But there we are. Like Carrie, I gave up. I knew I was indulging in a futile exercise :-)
I just know that I would never have had had this experience had I been talking to another woman. Unless they meant to hurt my feelings.
Plain speaking.
Gentlemen, please take it easy :-)

And while we are on this subject, a question: what is the explanation for this trait in men? Is 'plain speaking' just another facet of 'logical thinking'?