Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Eurovision...and the brotherhood code

The Eurovision Song Contest strikes again!

I wonder if the commenters who are not based in Europe are aware of this singing competition?
To me, and to most Brits, it's a hilarious song contest in which the best (or worst, it seems!) talent is put on display every May in the capital city of the previous year's winning country.

For most Brits, it's a waste of an evening. But I know that it is taken very seriously by most other countries in Europe. It is quite the Springtime live TV event in homes everywhere in mainland Europe.

And to be fair, it has launched the careers of many pop singers: Swedish group Abba won it in 1974 with 'Waterloo' and Celine Dion won it for Switzerland in 1988 with 'Ne partez pas sans moi' (Don't go without me).

Why do Brits have this view of this song contest?
I'll come clean. It boils down to jealousy. Pure and simple.
We haven't won it since 1997. So we might as well ridicule the whole thing.
This attitude works for us.
Whole countries have rationalisation hamsters too ;)

But seriously, the reason that Britain hardly ever gets a look-in in this competition may be totally explicable. The rules of the game are this: Every country can award 3 scores of 12, 10 and 8 points to the top 3 countries of its choice and then 7 to 1 points for the rest, in order of decreasing excellence. No country may award itself any points, of course.
At the end of voting, the country with the highest tally wins.
Simple enough.

But what annoys the Brits is the 'tactical voting' that seems to go on.
Eastern block countries are deemed the worst culprits when it comes to this. At least, in collective British eyes.

Last year, the contest was won by Azerbaijan. So this year, its capital city, Baku played host. As ever, each Eastern block countries seemed to be awarding points exclusively to one another.
Sometimes it is so blatant as to be absolutely hilarious.

Scandinavia is another culprit. Norway and Denmark always give their highest scores to Sweden and Iceland, and if they feel like it occasionally, to Finland :-) 
This year's event was won by Sweden.

Britain has no friends in Europe it seems :-(
Except perhaps Ireland, but only because they also speak English :-) So these two countries vote for each other a lot.
France never votes for Britain. Britain always returns the favour :-)
One year, Britain came away with the dreaded 'nul point' - the ultimate disgrace where no country thought that the British entry was worth even a single point.

All this makes me think of 'taking sides'. This happens a lot in the school playground.
But by the time we are adults, it seems this is one thing we don't leave behind.
In the SMP, and especially in the Manosphere, we are divided up into 'Team Man' and 'Team woman'.
All of which is vaguely amusing considering each party would like nothing better than to 'get friendly' with the other party :-)

The worse of the two culprits here!
(Sorry, gentlemen).

This whole 'brotherhood' thing and the 'bros before hos' commandment that they saddle themselves with...
Who came up with this?
The girlfriend-less omega or the honour-bound alpha? :-)

We women of course, as a rule, don't concern ourselves much with this hullabaloo.
There is no such thing as the 'sisterhood' except for a very small minority.
Mr. Alpha makes an appearance and suddenly, our best friend is relegated to the ranks of the unknown...('Jane who'?)

Just teasing...
But there is some truth to this.

A woman's greatest critic is another woman. We all know this.
In this regard, I am as guilty as the next woman if I am honest.
Women are also very good at 'building each other up' if the recipient so merits it.
Again, guilty as charged.

And what about men? From what I have noticed, men are actually very loyal to each other. But a man will also beat down his fellow man, even if it is dressed up as 'harmless' fun. Sometimes it looks quite vicious (at least to an observing woman).
But if it is not resulting in death or permanent injury, then I guess it's fine :-)

Outside of the SMP, we see this evidence of 'taking sides' all the time.

We will soon be innondated with images of the Olympics from my homecity.
The World Cup football.
Any sporting event at all.
Men and women everywhere want to kill each other over a game.

Sometimes hilarious and endearing, sometimes tragic and fatal, what is it that is so intriguing about 'taking sides'?
A man caught between wife and Mum.
A child caught between Mum and Dad.
A woman caught between boyfriend and Father.

Even if there is no detectable difference or barrier, human beings will invent one such that 'taking sides' can be executed.

Am I even within my rights to question this tendency?
Or perhaps my 'let's all be calm and give ourselves a big hug' mindset is untenable for men who are born to compete and women who are born to outshine the next woman... it that for the first time in history, men are competing against women because women started competing with men?

Did the innocence of 'taking sides' take on a sinister turn when we weren't keeping our eyes on the ball, so to speak?

So all of a sudden, we had 'Team Man' and 'Team Woman' where previously it was 'Team Human' against 'The Aliens', or 'Team Family' against 'The Government', or 'Team Workers' against 'The Union'...
And suddenly, there are people who are getting 'nul point' even though they didn't know they were being judged...

Has the SMP become the proverbial contest where we all have to sing for our dinner now?
'Dinner' being a euphemism for something else?

This song (Hold, be strong) performed by Maria Haukaas Storeng and composed by then 15-year old Mira Craig, only came 5th for Norway in 2008, in Belgrade.
Even the Brits were outraged on behalf of Norway, which was the highest ranked non Eastern-block country that year.

I like it. I thought it was better than the winning song, personally. But then I would.

I have my own version of 'taking sides' going on here.

But alas, I am not consistent in my 'taking sides'. (What's new? :-)
For when Norway won it the following year with Alexander Rybak's 'Fairytale', this failed to excite...

Monday, May 28, 2012

Hey baby, you look so familiar!

No, this is not the latest in the chat-up lines thrown at me, LOL.

I was thinking about the whole dating and courtship thing the other day.
I didn't come to any particularly useful conclusion, but I kind of got stuck a bit on the idea that it really is about the children.

The above is what I imagine parents might say to a newborn on first meeting them.

It's all about leaving behind our genetic mark.
Sure, we also want companionship, love, intimacy, etc.

But that's just the relish to get us to do Nature's bidding, no? :-)

And, at the risk of sounding like a typical Catholic prude (again :-), I can see why The Church is so unyielding on its teachings on sex and chastity.
For the cold hard truth is that those who partake of the relish without obliging Nature get indigestion.

And what's more, the gatekeeper of the relish is punished much more than the gatecrasher.

An ex-colleague of mine is now in her late forties. She has been pregnant three times in her life - all at very different stages in her life. Each time, she had an abortion. She is also 'catholic'. Which is why she was telling me all this, because she knew I was also catholic. I must say, I really like this woman. She is super nice and very good at her job too. Which is why I am sad at what follows:

She was lamenting the fact that she now can't have children.
For reasons of decorum, I really cannot go into the many reasons why I couldn't bring myself to sympathise with her. I really tried hard. But I could never 'get there'.
She is now living with a man 20 years her senior who has made it clear to her for the entire duration of their relationship that he doesn't want any more children, having completed his family with his ex-wife.

Bellita recently linked to an article about another woman who had had an abortion and was now living with the pain of it.
That woman, however could have elicited some compassion from me. She really could.
Except, further down the line she declared in her article that she would advise another woman to do what she did.
My hamster, which is normally primed to spin on behalf of any woman who merits even an iota of sympathy, just lay down and refused to move at this point.
My hamster went on strike. That doesn't happen very often.

Despite my strong views on abortion, I am however capable of sympathising. I know it is not an easy decision to make. Especially when one is young.
When I was 15, I returned home from school one day and met my neighbour's daughter (who was a few months younger than me) standing on her doorstep looking a bit 'lost'. I had never seen her like that before.
I approached her and asked if she was alright.
She looked at me and said, 'I just had an abortion'. Just like that.
She has never looked 'normal' to me ever since.
In her case, I totally sympathise. She was 14 years old.
How was she to know?

My strong views on abortion are somewhat selfish, yes.
They may be tied in with my christian beliefs and my own sense of human justice.
But...there is a reason I identify with Tim Tebow and St. Gianna Molla.
My own birth was fraught with difficulty, resulting in the death of my twin.
It was (sensible!) medical advice that we be aborted, for purely medical reasons.

So, with my history, I am somewhat unable to (not just unwilling to) agree with abortion for anything other than life-threatening conditions.
And even then...

Apparently Tim Tebow has a similar history to me.
And the daughter of St. Gianna Molla, who is now in her 60s still refers to her as 'my Saint Mama'!

It's all about the children, ultimately. I am not saying it is right. But it happens this way, yes.
What's more, whilst we don't get to choose our parents, we very much choose our children.
Um, most of the time.
'Accidental' pregnancies where the intended father is not quite the one based on reality are one exception.

Most of the time, we are subconciously choosing the qualities/traits of the next generation when we choose a mate, no?

My mother and all her sisters have one thing in common.
They are all very well-endowed :-)
Every single one of them.
Before I hit puberty, I assumed this was my future.
How wrong I was!

My father's sisters, on the other hand, are all tall, slim, model types, with no 'rack' to speak of between them. Even now, in their 60s and 70s, having nursed multiple babies, nothing's changed up top.

Women inherit their father's 'breasts'.
As a guide, look at his female relatives.
So guess who is unlucky in the 'rack' department?

I once dated a man who looked just like my father. Tall and thin.
His mother and sister looked just like my aunts (up top).
I commiserated with my future daughter.
But she won't make it into existence now.

When I met someone else, I was quick to check out the family. As he was orphaned and sisterless, I was out of luck with the 'assessment'.
However, a chance meeting with a (paternal) female cousin gave me all the 'evidence' I needed.

If I stick with this one, my daughter will be quite the man-magnet :-)
I shall definitely need to take Danny's advice and lock her up, for her 'epic rack'.

In general, men inherit their height from their mothers. With some exceptions, of course.
So my future son will not be short by any means, whoever his father is.
Men also inherit intelligence from their mothers.
Um...oh dear.
Sorry, future son :-(

Walking around on a sunny day and people-watching, I noticed a child of six or seven.
Stunning child.
I don't exaggerate when I say that my heart literally stopped beating for a second or two.
This child was half Asian. She was with Mum, so I know which parent is the Asian one.
It was a bit difficult to guess the ethnicity of father, though.
I suspect 'Caucasian' but the child was sufficiently dark-skinned that it wouldn't be unreasonable to guess 'Black' or 'Mixed' or 'Middle Eastern' or 'Indian'. In other words, Dad could have been any race but Asian (because the child looked like she was a mix, and not fully Asian).

The child reminded me of (but was even more beautiful than!) Chrissy Teigen, swimsuit model and  fiancée of singer John Legend:
Miss. Teigen has a Thai mother and a Norwegian father:

Anyhow, whoever Dad is, I hope he has a good sturdy padlock. If this kid is this beautiful at this age,  imagine how devastating she will be in ten years!

I also see little boys who are absolutely gorgeous. And then I think: if I have daughters I would have to lock them up, what with these little fellas about :-)
Or if my daughters are anything like me, they wouldn't be visual so much. So these boys would have to have their mouths duct-taped assuming they have nice voices...

Hm, in both cases why do I feel the need to lock up the girl? Am I being sexist, or just respectful of how Nature works?

I live in country where 70% of people have at least one foreign parent. And most of this 70% have a foreign mother.

Now of course it may appear that these foreign women are all South East Asian or African, but I suspect that's only because it is more obvious. With the other foreign mothers, they do not appear different until they speak and you detect an accent...and even so...not always evident.

It is a sticking-point in Blue Pill world, and a celebrated triumph :-) in The Manosphere that Western men seek 'non-Western' women for their femininity.
But is this the only reason?
Are these men looking for 'mixed' children too?

I always imagined that it is women who decide what the next generation will look like.
But the evidence around me tells me I could be wrong.

Sure, a woman is the gatekeeper of intimacy in the sense that she decides how far this will go (in the absence of influencing agents such as alcohol or drugs).
But, if a man is the gatekeeper of marriage/LTR, then in a sense, he gets to decide what his children will look like. Although, this is perhaps a theoretical 'decision' because of the possibility of cuckoldry.
But all things being equal, the principle of a man deciding still stands.
But then again, a savvy woman could place herself in the position of being 'picked' by the man she has already earmarked as her 'choice' without him ever realising this :-)
So in the end, both decide...

These are just a few examples I can come up with. Other people have a whole host of other traits they may be inadvertently or actively choosing or rejecting.

And that's just the physical.
In addition to physical traits, we are also choosing the personality types of our future children.
This is one reason the loss of a parent at a young age can be harrowing (and poignant) for the other parent left behind, who may recognise personality traits (and of course physical ones) displayed in the child.

And why it is best for a woman to really know a man well before indulging in any activity that may result in um...creating a carbon copy of him.

That is, if she is not into getting 'surprises'.

This whole phenomenon can work in a 'negative' way, too, I find.

I know a woman who is averse to dating anyone of her own race, nor anyone who is 'mixed' with her race.
It turns out she may have good reason, I have just worked out, from clues she has left for me in little conversations we have had over the years.
The root 'problem' for her is that her shall I put this politely...'gets around'...
Her parents divorced amidst allegations ala Tiger Woods.
What's more, she discovered she suddenly had more relatives than she would have liked, some older, some younger than her. And everyone suspects there are many more undiscovered 'relatives' still waiting to be discovered.
She lives in mortal fear of accidentally dating her own brother.
Yes, her father was that active, sadly for her.
So whilst many girls 'seek their father' in a potential husband, this woman has a weird 'reverse Oedipus' thing going on.
In her case, it's a true phobia. I cannot seem to find the name to describe this one (anyone care to help me out here?)
By the way, I did point out to her, once I had figured out that this is what she was doing, that how could she know that her father hadn't had kids with a woman out of his race?
She told me her father was a racist (he never approved of the men she dated - not that she cared...)
I was about to say, 'But you know, just because he is 'racist' doesn't guarantee that he wouldn't...'
But I held my tongue. Not the time or place, I decided...
In any case she had that possibility covered - no 'mixed' men either...

So this woman, if she has children, will have 'mixed' children because of her (appropriate but perhaps excessive - because what are the chances*.?..) fear of incest.
For her, this has arisen out of a 'negative' rather than a 'positive', which is sad in many ways, unless she was perhaps always going to be attracted to men of different races anyway, and not because of her father's philandering. However, as her father's erm...'activities' came to light before she started dating, there is no way to tell.

So, my question is, how much of dating is really about the next generation in this ever more international, multicultural world?

Is the SMP a mini-eugenics laboratory?
These men who are after smart women - are they just seeking a smart child instead? 'Cos as the Manosphere keeps saying, 'who needs a smart woman'?
So, perhaps there is method in the madness ;)
And the short women seeking tall men - are they just looking for tall sons? And then it is a surprise if said son is not as tall as Dad?

Or do we just love the other one for who he or she is and don't ever think of the kids?
Can anyone convince me that this is true?

*Actually, thinking about this, the chances are not negligible. I wonder if she has read this article? I would hope that her father did not go this far, but you never know...
Small countries such as Singapore have started to ban sperm donor banks because of this fear. Somehow I don't blame them.
What a horror to finally meet someone you click with, are happy with, want to spend the rest of your life with...only to find he or she is your brother or sister!

Family the genetic trait!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Thanks, but no thanks!

As readers here at The Sanctuary know, I don't give advice.
I ask questions.
If pushed to a wall, I give suggestions :-)

Caelaeno asked me how to politely turn down a guy, here.

I gave a suggestion.
She was gracious enough to reply that she found it helpful.
Which is nice, Caelaeno. Thank you.
But I can't help but feel that there are others here far better qualified to answer this question than I.

My review of 'Firelight'  (thanks again Danny!) yielded two examples of rejection on the romantic front.

What's so brilliant about this is that we get a woman rejecting a man (Elisabeth rejecting Mr. Taylor) and a man rejecting a woman (Charles rejecting Connie).

I thought to myself:
Why don't we look at this again?

And this time with both genders in mind, as rejectors and the rejected.

I have harped on enough in the past that it is entirely expected that a woman rejects several men before she picks one (for life hopefully).

I always thought that there must be far more women rejecting men than men rejecting women.

I think this is intrinsically true, but there is a shift in proceedings, of course, with the result that we now have a situation where for probably the first time in history, masses of women are deemed rejectable.
This is sad in many ways.
It used to be that men did most or all the pursuing (with women doing some subtle 'hinting', of course!) and women selected.

But with a change in rule-book and different dynamics at play from my grandma's hey-day, women are being required more and more in today's SMP to do some active and sometimes amazingly aggressive pursuing of their own, at the beginning of a relationship.
Often with disastrous results.

But this is off-topic. I shan't dwell on this for now.

How does one say politely, 'Thanks, but no thanks!'?

Does it depend on your own gender?
Does it depend on the gender of the person you are rejecting?
Does it depend on the timing of the relationship?
Does it depend on the reason for the rejection?
Does it depend on your own life circumstances?
Does it depend on how you perceive the other person, in general?

I suspect the answer to all of the above questions is a resounding 'yes'.

But to what degree in each case?

I always think that consideration for the other person is key, whatever the motive or the outcome of the rejection.
But this is often hard to achieve, given that a rejection is often painful, stuffed full of emotion, and unpleasant for all concerned.

Often, it is indeed the rejector who feels worse than the rejected. Even if it may look like it's the other way round.

Is there such a thing as a mutual rejection?
Or is this the preserve of Hollywood couples parting ways, in an attempt to pull one over the rest of us?
Is there such a thing as a 'nice' rejection?
Or is this a face-saving device invented by the rejected?

Some people are far too brusque in their 'rejection technique'.
Others are far too 'gentle' and ineffective, thereby needlessly prolonging the agony.
Others use one standard method for everybody, regardless of the situation.
Others use a 'variation on a theme' strategy.
Some people have never rejected someone.
Some people are lifelong rejectors.
Some people never recover from a rejection that happened in 1976.
Others are expecting to be rejected and come prepared.
Some people love the challenge of rejection and seek to breakdown the 'resistance'.
Others run a mile from impending rejection because they know they can't take the pain.

Incidentally, this scene from 'Captain Corelli's Mandolin' also provides a good example of a well-executed rejection. Except it wasn't really a rejection in this case. All that smiling and coy behaviour is the clue :-)
So whilst I wouldn't recommend this for Caelaeno who was asking about 'serious' rejections, it is worth comparing this with Elisabeth Laurier's rejection of Mr. Taylor.
The first 30 seconds...

Now for my thoughts on the specific cases of rejection from 'Firelight'.

I should let drop now that my thoughts on these two cases are not restricted to the scenes of rejection alone.
Far from it!
Because I feel the context around these two rejections are indeed relevant, as you will see below:

Beginning with Elisabeth and Mr. Taylor...(hahaha, why does this make me laugh? She could have ended up as 'Elisabeth Taylor' had she not rejected him :-)

It has to be said that Mr. Taylor was near-perfection as far as a worthy man was concerned. A hard worker, handsome, good character, great sense of humour (he was, for example not at all phased by the antics of Lord Clare, Charles' father) and had an eye for spotting worthy women.
Elisabeth is not just beautiful, she is also graceful. She moves like a dancer.

And yet, by the time he got to ask Elisabeth for her hand in marriage, he had already lost her.
For she was emotionally unavailable to him.

Unfortunately for Mr. Taylor, Charles had got there first.
Eight whole years before him.

Elisabeth fell in love with Charles before they left the island hotel where she conceived Louisa.
Not because she had sex with him, I don't think.
In fact, I personally think she had fallen in love with him (of sorts) long before she actually saw him.
When she first heard his voice.
But this is arguable and I shan't dwell on it.

When she gives up her baby and pines for her for 7 years, we (as the audience of the film) are not made aware that she is also pining for the man with whom she had conceived her baby, until the very last scene where she admits to this...

Elisabeth appears very much to be a 'cold fish'. But this is just the usual façade of introverts. She wasn't really 'cold' at all. And in fact she actually says she is not like this: When Charles asks her how she can remain so calm at one point, she truthfully replies that she is not calm.

Elisabeth reminds me of a duck on a pond.
On the surface it appears all serene, but underneath, no-one is seeing its feet paddling furiously away.
I might even venture as far as to apply Myers-Briggs to Elisabeth.
I can unequivocally say she is INT...
Can't make up my mind whether she is a P or a J. Can any experts on Myers-Briggs help me out here?

Her background is also crucial and highly relevant. Elisabeth is a true loner. She appears to be an only child.
Motherless and with a father in prison, she is factually and effectively alone in the world.
It is therefore not surprising  to me that her one idea to raise money for her father's debts involves creating another human being, even if the plan is to give up said human being at birth.
In executing this plan, Elisabeth at least had company for nine months. For nine whole months in her lonely life, she had someone else to talk to, to relate with, to connect to.
Even if that peson was invisible and couldn't exactly participate in any conversation except to kick at frequent intervals :-)
In a fit of frustration during one of Louisa's tantrums, Elisabeth lets slip her own fears about her loneliness and her wish to prevent this life for Louisa when she grew up to become a woman.

Elisabeth's mistake when she was 22 was to believe that it would be easy to disengage from the emotional aspects of sex and motherhood.
Clearly, no-one had told her about a certain badass hormone called 'oxytocin' :-)
For a very mature woman, this is a somewhat surprising 'gap' in her level of insight.
But of course, Elisabeth soon learns...

Am I being unfair?
Elisabeth was motherless. Her father was unavailable. Detained at Her Majesty's pleasure, as we would say in Britain.
She would have had to 'raise' herself in many ways.
I say she did a pretty good job.
But there would have had to be a 'gap' somewhere.
Otherwise she wouldn't be human :-)

She fell in love with Charles because he was special, to her. Deep down, she could have terminated their encounters at any point, and she knew that. But she didn't. Because she had fallen for him.

When at the beach he asked her if she had enjoyed their encounter the previous night and she replied 'no', she quickly added that 'she could'. By this, I don't think Elisabeth was saying that she could force her body to respond to Charles. She was simply saying she knew it wouldn't be hard to enjoy any further encounters with Charles, because he was already someone she had begun to care about.
The 'no' was also perhaps just a normal woman's attempt to avoid giving the impression of 'sluttiness' especially in this situation where Elizabeth would probably have felt 'guilty' to have enjoyed her counter with Charles - it was afterall not supposed to be 'pleasure' - it was 'strictly business'.

And of course, when she says during their second encounter, 'I don't want to know your name, I don't want to know anything about you', you just know she really means, 'I do want to know your name, I want to know everything about you!'

Elisabeth's 'pattern' is that when she is feeling 'passionate' she wants to shout :-)
See? Not at all a 'cold fish' at all :-)

Something else which may not be apparent to everyone watching this film:
A little geography lesson of sorts.
Elisabeth was Swiss.
Switzerland is a small country with no access to the sea.
Sure, it has plenty of lakes - part of its charm.
But at each lake, you can see the bordering town or country: at Lake Léman you can see France. At Lake Konstanz you can see Germany. At Lake Maggiore you can see Italy.

The sea would have had a profound effect on Elisabeth.
The fact that you could see nothing beyond its farthest horizons would have been especially appealing to her as a Swiss woman.
To 'shout' where there is 'nothing' would have been truly liberating for her.
Another time she felt the need to 'shout', she went to the lake-house at Charles' home to do it.
This was the nearest thing she had to the sea.

Charles, on the other hand, I don't think was in love with Elisabeth per se when he left her on the boat.
Sure, he liked her an' all...but remember, at initial encounter, to a man, all women are the same.

Charles didn't fall in love with Elisabeth until 8 years later when she showed up at his house as the new governess to his daughter.
And even so, it wasn't until after Mr. Taylor had been rejected by Elisabeth that he got thinking about her...
But I dare say, there was the beginning of something even at their first encounter...
When he questions her about this rejection and presumes it is for Louisa's sake, does anyone really believe her (affirmative) answer?
I for one don't.
Didn't think you did either :-)
She was heavily under Charles' spell by this stage. Louisa was just an innocent bystander in this regard :-)

But when he did fall in love with her, the 'alpha-beta' chain was set in motion.

What do I mean?
The Tango dance. Alpha, beta, alpha, beta, in that order...
Incidentally from 00:30 to 02:20 in the above video is a brilliant display of Tango skills...
A woman falls in love with a man when he is at the 'alpha' stage. Confident/maybe a bit aloof/definitely dominant to her. Charles was all of these at their initial encounter - albeit not a 'normal' encounter by any means.

The man falls in love with the woman when he is at the 'beta' stage - a stage in which he pedestalises her a bit, and gets all vulnerable.
For Charles, this happened when he mentioned about 'firelight' the night after Mr. Taylor left for America.
From then on, everyone knew he was in love.
Certainly Molly, the girlfriend of his father noticed this.
And the rest as they say is history.
He did most of the 'chasing' in this story. But note that Elisabeth did it once too: at a time when it counted.

With the above in mind, what did Connie do wrong, then?

Connie's mistake was to be there for a man who had never gone 'beta' on her. For ten whole years, she had loved Charles. That's like a huge chunk of her childbearing years.
She was perhaps 5-10 years older than Elisabeth, so if Elisabeth was 22 when she met Charles and 23 when she had Louisa, and therefore 30 when she turned up again when Louisa was 7, that would make Connie about 35-40.
The way she talked incessantly about loving her sister Amy also suggests that she is Amy's older sister. Elder siblings talk like this and are all protective of their younger siblings and never the other way round.

 Connie and Elisabeth are both 'nice girls'.
But there is a subtle difference between them. One that Mr. Taylor spotted when he remarked (about Elisabeth): 'She's got pride in herself, doesn't back down'.

This is Connie:
Nice, nice, nice, kind, nice, nice, nice, smile, nice, nice, nice, compassionate, nice, nice, nice, smile, nice, Nice, NICE!!!

This is Elisabeth:
Nice, nice, nice, PASSION, nice, nice, nice, FIRE IN THE BELLY, nice, nice, nice, DESIRE, nice, nice, nice, PRIDE, nice, nice, nice.

See the difference?

Connie was too 'stiff upper lip British'.
Her passion, if she had any, was too deeply buried within her.
I strongly believe that she had every chance at her disposal to 'get' Charles before Elisabeth showed up.
Like ten whole years. She was frustratingly passive! Like Blanche Maxwell, this woman threw away an awful lot of opportunities. Not to say she should have been direct. But there is a way to be active while still being indirect...
She is effectively the proverbial passenger who lived by the seaport and still managed to miss the boat everyday for ten years.

Moreover, Connie was one of those women who needed 'competition' to get her own juices going. She needed the 'preselection' that Elisabeth provided.
Her last ditch attempt to show some passion for Charles by kissing his hand after he euthanases Amy (and by this stage it is clear to Connie that Charles loves Elisabeth) is not only somewhat pathetic, it is also way too late.

Connie is an example of what I described here.
A woman does not have to sleep with a man to be hooked on him.

Connie never got this far with Charles. Not to say she didn't hope for this.
But I imagine for her, there wouldn't be another man.
Charles had ruined her for other men.
She had wasted her whole life on a man who had never felt the same way about her.
A true tragedy.
On the other hand, I can also see the alternative point of view: that Connie was a sweet, kind woman who did everything right and still lost out. This is of course a very valid view.

Mr. Taylor, on the other hand would not have had this problem. For a start, for a man, 'there is always another woman' even when he has previously fallen in love with a woman.
As he correctly said to Elisabeth, 'one of these days, I might be doing this (proposing to a woman) again'.
I have no doubt that even on the ship en route to America, he would have found another woman to propose to.
The thing about 1838 is that, there were plenty more women like Elisabeth (i.e. marriageable women) around. The biggest complaint amongst men circa 2012 is that whilst there are millions of 'bangable' women out there, very few are marriageable.
I don't really know if this complaint is valid. But I shan't dwell on this.

Elisabeth's manner of rejecting Mr. Taylor is in my view, exemplary. Caelaeno, here's your answer.
She declines politely (actually, she doesn't decline - she acknowledges his compliment of her, and allows him to correctly deduce her refusal. After which she expresses regret. How classy is this!) And then she leaves.
She doesn't stay to commiserate with him.
A lot of women may feel it right to do this commiseration thing. Having previously done this myself, I now know it is wrong. Because to do this is to feel sorry for him in a way that wounds his masculinity.

Mr. Taylor begins what could be described as a self-depreciating speech when he starts to talk about a man getting his hopes up too high...but her icy stare soon sets him straight.
She helps him along by declaring that 'he is not too disappointed' (with her refusal of his proposal, that is).
I think this is very clever of her. She sets the 'frame' that he is to follow. Without making it too obvious, and certainly without taking anything away from his sense of masculinity.
And when he shows his vulnerability by asking if there was something he could 'fix' about himself before approaching another woman, she is both truthful and kind when she replies that any woman would be fortunate to be courted by him.
Sadly for Taylor, any woman but Elisabeth Laurier.

Elisabeth rejects Mr. Taylor: 6:08 to 7:50.

Connie's rejection was much more cringeworthy and brutal, although I don't see how gentler Charles could have made it.
Given that he had been effectively giving her this message for ten years...
Connie's problem was that she hadn't just been rejected on that fateful day.
She had never even been noticed by him in a romantic way. Ever.
She had been LJBF'ed for ten years.
But because her 'favours' had been gratefully accepted (none of these sexual, so there is a silver lining somewhat for Connie), she thought she was in a 'relationship'.

One persistent thought I had throughout my viewing of this film was...if Charles was so in need of a surrogate for his heir, why not Connie? He preferred to pay a strange woman a small fortune when Connie was available and would have most likely been willing.
Yes, the logistics would have been complicated, but it wouldn't have been difficult to arrange for her to 'disappear' for a while only to turn up with a baby (with an 'unknown' father)...and which Charles could have 'adopted'...
But no. Charles wasn't even up for this option.
Connie was just not in the frame at all...poor girl.

Charles rejects Connie: beginning to 1:37.
The extra painful part for Connie in her rejection scene is when Charles says to her, 'You know how much I loved her, don't you?' (referring to his dead wife, her sister). Not the best time for Connie to hear this.

Every woman needs to be a doctor of sorts.
For she needs to correctly diagnose when she loves a man, and when he loves her.

And she should know that a completely 'lukewarm' man is the male equivalent of a 'reluctant bride'.
There has to be something from him. (Not to say he ought to get his way of course :-)
In this regard, even an attempt to hold hands counts as something. But a clearer sign is better.
That's my 'suggestion' for the day.

I could go on all day. Um, in fact, I have!
Why don't we discuss?

Any interesting stories out there?
For Caelaeno?
For me?
For all of us to learn from?

Thank you kindly :-)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Metak got Game

Everyone, meet Metak.
He's a seriously funny young guy from Slovenia.
He's single right now, but I don't expect that will last for much longer...
Even though he still harbours thoughts of MGTOW...

Does Metak have what TPM calls 'Charisma'?
What the rest of us irreverently call 'Game'?

Whatever it is, Metak managed to 'Game' me even when I wasn't looking particularly to be Gamed.
I got 'Charisma-ed' by accident :-)
A pleasant accident, I might add :-)

Yes I am quite easily Gamed.
I admit that.
But I am not alone.
Everyone is Gameable, right?
Or do I just see everyone as a potential Gamer?
Afterall, everyone and everything seems to Game me these days - God, The Pope, Danny's dog, random little girl at church, my boss...
Everyone who shouldn't really be 'Gaming' me... :-)

So what happened with Mr. Slick from Slovenia?
Here's the breakdown from my point of view.

I think he started with 'Dread'.
A comment on the MGTOW post about how he's leaving the village, how all women are this, that and the the whole marriage thing is geared against men...
I felt compelled to draw him back into the village, even though I am tired of doing this, or at least I should be :-)
(And knowing of course that it wouldn't change a thing)...

So that was Metak's display of 'alpha' dread.
It worked for me.
Just this once :-)
And then the nail in my coffin was the devastating humour that followed.

Metak was not content with just me though...
Quite the greedy fella this one.
He also managed to pull Bellita and JV into the mix.
He's slick alright...this kid.
He clearly got the full set of the polyamorous genotype.

Metak may or may not know this, but there is a history of sorts here...
None of this is least not where I am concerned.

British chicks and Eastern European dudes.
A match made in tabloid heaven?
This woman knows all about it :-)
And the man started out on his 'alpha' journey at 12 years old :-)

Even Margaret Thatcher was not immune to this phenomenon.
Following a visit to Poland in 1988, several newspapers in Britain played on her budding 'attraction' to Polish Prime Minister Jaruzelski with the following headline:
'The Iron Lady and the magnetic Pole'.
Pure gold.
Who came up with that killer of a headline?
Speaking of Poles, Pope John Paul II had this 'thing' about him that made him very popular with people in general.
I daresay, especially the ladies...(mentioning no names).

I always thought Goran Ivanisevic the tennis player was the hottest thing alive.
When he took his shirt off after winning Wimbledon in 2001 I thought I might finally become acquainted with the term 'spontaneous combustion'.
In an act of unacceptable disloyalty to Queen and Country, I was cheering him on when I should have been cheering on Tim Henman in the preceding semi-final in what might have been Henman's only chance at Wimbledon glory.
But can I be blamed? His ridiculously effortless and flawless serve and bullet aces that sprang forth thereof were something to behold :-)

I particularly loved his voice.
The accent only added to the appeal.
In the best ever test of my auditory 'trigger', I thought if he became Quasimodo, lost all his money and fame, became fatter than a Sumo wrestler, I'd still say 'yes'.
And we would never do what his birth city implies.

And when 'baby Goran' aka Mario Ancic (with exactly the same voice as Goran) burst onto the scene, it was 'rinse and repeat' for me :-)

Somehow it is never been lost on me that Eastern Europe is a bastion of Catholicism, or its Eastern counterpart, Orthodoxy.
Maybe that's the deal with me.
*looks shiftily around *
I am succeeding in convincing nobody, it seems. I sense that somehow :-)

But this whole 'geographical location' thing got me thinking.
After the City/Rural posts, I did wonder if whole countries or regions had any specific traits in common, in terms of its human 'talent'..
There are women who might be into Middle Eastern men, for example. Some men are helplessly putty in the hands of Scandinavian bombshells.
Danny is a sucker for Mexican girls :-)
Bellita is a goner when it comes to British men, well, certainly if he sings and has an association with a certain Scottish insect, in any case :-)
And so on...

And that's just based on looks/cultural behaviour.

There are some Western men who swear that they are done with Western women on the basis of personality/character.
Danny again.
So MGTOW might really mean MGTEEAA (Men Going Towards Eastern Europe And Asia) for some men.

And some Western women think Western men are way too timid and crave the attentions of the forward Italian and Latino 'macho' types with raw caveman tendencies :-)

It's highly amusing, all this.
And fun to dissect out.

Back to Metak and Slovenia, I know that much (good stuff) has been said about Eastern European women, certainly in The Manosphere. Something about their femininity, beauty, niceness.
I can't disagree at all, if we stick to generalisations.

Uncannily, the latter part of the thread on the MGTOW post on which he started commenting came close to the subject of eloping.

Only one member of my extended family has eloped so far (at least that I know of).
A male cousin of mine.
And his bride?
A Slovenian woman :-)

My cousin was a goofy nerd.
Who fell out with his parents for a while when he was in his late 20s.
And next one knew, he was married with a baby on the way.

But now I get it.
He wasn't stupid, my goofy nerdy cousin.
When I saw his wife, my first (involuntary, if uncharitable) thought was, 'what's a drop-dead gorgeous girl like this doing with my ugly cousin?'

Now of course I recognise my thought as a very silly one indeed.
Because I understand better now the male and female attraction triggers and how different they are from each other, in general.
I don't think she married him for his looks.
But his looks were not required...

Anyhow, why was my cousin not so idiotic afterall?
We have many male cousins his age.
He wanted to (needed to?) lock this girl down before any other male members of the family got any funny ideas about her.
Seeing her, I would imagine she's just the kind of girl to induce an involuntary transgression of the rule 'bros before hos' :-)
Like I said, my cousin knew what he was doing :-)

Which region of the world appeals to you, in terms of its men/women?
And why?

Would you be willing to move there if this was at all possible?
Is your perception of these people accurate, or was it a false illusion that never quite matched reality once you got closer to the country/person of your affections?

Dish it out, please.
Spacetraveller is all ears :-)

The maestro at work...

The voice of the century?
Judge for yourself...

Doubles...or hearing double?
Game, set and ...match this voice with Goran's!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Rich man, poor man

The gentlemen amongst us may well be unaware of the following poem. But I am sure the women will have encountered at least one version of this.
Doing a quick internet search, I couldn't believe how many versions of this there were.
This suggests to me how ingrained it is into the female psyche the need for partnering up. Little girls everywhere indulge in this little game from the moment they can speak :-)
I was no exception.

This is the version I remember:

From A.A. Milne of 'Winnie the pooh' fame:

Tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor, rich man, poor man, beggar man, thief,
Or Tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor, rich man, poor man, beggar man, thief, doctor, lawyer, Indian chief.
Or what about a cowboy, policeman, jailer, engine driver, or a pirate chief?
Or what about a ploughman or a keeper at the zoo,
Or what about a circus man who lets the people through?
Or the man who takes the pennies on the roundabouts and swings,
Or the man who plays the organ or the other man who sings?
Or What about the rabbit man with rabbits in his pockets
And what about a rocket man who's always making rockets?
Oh it's such a lot of things there are and such a lot to be
That there's always lots of cherries on my little cherry tree.

Apparently, this version is played as some sort of 'counting game':

When shall I marry?
This year, next year, sometime, never.

What will my husband be?
Tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor, rich-man, poor-man, beggar-man, thief.

What will I be?
Lady, baby, gypsy, queen.

What shall I wear?
Silk, satin, cotton, rags (or silk, satin, velvet, lace)

How shall I get it?
Given, borrowed, bought, stolen.

How shall I get to church?
Coach, carriage, wheelbarrow, cart.

Where shall I live?
Big house, little house, pig-sty, barn.

Rather elaborate for a 'counting game', no?


In fact, the real objective of this rhyme is one of divination or fortune telling. Whilst counting,  the last word or term that corresponds to the last available counting item, eg. cherry stones, buttons, is what the future holds.
Sooo, as an example, to the question What shall my husband be? if the last button coincides with thief... then the girl has to think about how she feels about the phrase 'visiting hours'...

Why do we torture ourselves so?

In a more sinister twist (sinister, that is, from the male point of view), if the 'counting item' happens to be boys when a girl is  asking the question Who shall I marry? then some poor boy is saddled with a destiny he may never have dreamed up for himself...

I remember doing this to the neighbour boy when I was about 6 years old. When I 'landed' on him during this game he went crying to his Mum and wouldn't speak to me for days afterwards...
Not exactly the kind of validation I was looking for.

I know a woman who never dates a man unless they are actual or near-millionaires. She is the walking epitome of 'hypergamy' to say the least :-)
She won't date a guy if he is not of a so-called 'glamorous' profession, i.e. doctor, lawyer, CEO of a Fortune-500 company.
The weird thing is, she has dated a lot of millionaires.
And she herself has a not-so-lucrative job.
But...she does come from a fairly well-to-do family.
This is important to her - she wants to perpetuate the 'comfortable living' she was used to growing up.

Is this a bad thing in of itself?
Or is this the sort of thing that makes a man run for the hills?

The whole point of the etiquette on dates, as I touched upon in 'Going Dutch'  is really a sort of dance that men and women enact to see what 'fits' in the financial arena.
Given that an important part of the whole mating game is about provision of material goods for a 'unit', otherwise known as a family.

So, it follows that a woman has to choose the right kind of man for her, in this important aspect of her future, whatever her own earning capacity.
She may not see wealth as an important part of a LTR. Or, she may see it as priority number one.
The trick is, the man has to be in agreement with her thoughts on this.
If Ms. Golddigger encounters Mr. Money-no-object who is happy to throw money at Ms. Golddigger, then surely there is no problem?

But what happens if Mr. Rich is also Mr. Miserly?
I fell out with the woman above when she met a wealthy man and on their second date they went shopping for ingredients for a meal she had planned to cook for him. According to her, he was so miserly on the shopping trip, he wanted to buy the cheapest version of everything.
After that date, she never saw him again, despite the fact that he was a great guy in every other respect, even in her own estimation.
When I pointed out that
1. He may well have become a millionaire as a result of his frugality and
2. This was only the second date! She could have stuck it out a bit longer to 'assess' a little bit more before rejecting him

She told me I was wrong.
She was a 'princess' looking for a rich man who would shower her with money. Any hint at a miserly streak and she was out of there...

No allowance for the possibility that this man was just protecting himself from possible golddiggers.

Many men will say that they don't care what a woman's earning capacity is. If she is feminine and attractive and young enough to have a family and nurturing and compassionate, etc, they will commit to her.
Is this accurate?
Really. Is this the whole truth?
Why then are so many women having to work even when they don't wish to after kids arrive?
Is this a reflection of a particularly severe economic crisis, or men's abandonment of their traditional role whilst wishing to impose said traditional roles on women?

Can a man ever be sure that a woman really loves him and is not after his money?
Is there any way to tell other than a super-long courtship ala Prince William and Mark Zuckerberg before marrying the woman?

Seriously, are extra-long courtships the only way?

Have we all in fact lost our way?

Friday, May 18, 2012

SMP saints?

Not so much the 'nice guys who finish last' or the 'nice girls who are invisible to all' (though these merit their own accolades of course) but actual saints.

There are of course many definitions of the word 'saint'.
But for the purposes of this post, I shall use the Catholic definition:
Those 'knighted' posthumously by the reigning Pontiff with a godly seal of approval.
Those canonised and beatified by the Pope of the day.

I am quite incapable of keeping religion off this blog.
But that's OK. I forgive myself :-)

One mechanism I have used time and time again is to remind myself that religion is but a tool for salvation.
One of many, in fact.
Once religion becomes mistaken for said salvation, one is done for.

It is not so long ago that I declared on a post here that even if I found out my local bishop was fathering kids left right and centre, I would still be Catholic.

As they say, be careful what you wish for (not that I wished for this).
It is not so much what the priest did that attracted my attention.
It was the reaction to what he had done.
In this and other articles covering this story, the overwhelming sentiment least it wasn't a child.
How tragic for The Church that its reputation has sunk so low.

But I am still Catholic.
Recognising that it's not such a bad deal to be identified as one afterall.
Until The Inquisition comes round again, I guess I am safe.

One thing I like about organised religion is the idea of 'saints'.
In life there are so many pitfalls and traps that it is nice to have mentors.
Living ones are more useful, as you can get feedback from them.
Those of us who don't mind where the mentoring comes from will also check out the legacy of the dead.
They somehow seem more 'spiritual' because they are no longer 'flesh and blood'.
All saints started out as ordinary folk, of course.
The only person apart from God who was 'born without sin' was Our Lady, according to Catholic Dogma.
All the rest of 'em were common or garden sinners like the rest of us.
With the same problems, woes, anxieties, challenges and hassles.

Today's SMP is a mess, sure.
But ours cannot be the only time in history where things seemed uncertain or scary.
Some things are new, like Facebook :-)

But most things are just recycled...with a twist, also known as evolution.

With this in mind, I was not surprised to learn how strikingly similar some of the saints' lives were to ours today.

As long as there are people, there will always be an SMP.

So, the people who have been 'designated' patron saints of certain aspects of the SMP must have had some of their own headaches to deal with.
How did they fare?

And what can we learn from them?

This is not intended to be an exhaustive list.
I touch on Catholic saints because I know more about them than saints of other religions.
Any suggestions/propositions from other religions would of course be very welcome.
No certificate of canonisation necessary :-)
If you say they are a saint, I shall believe you.

1. St. Raphael, patron saint of single people
Actually, St. Raphael is the patron saint of 'happy encounters' or 'happy meetings'. He has also been described as the patron saint of sex (!).
He was one of the Archangels (Michael and Gabriel being the other two recognised in Catholicism).
Having successfully guided Tobias into a marriage with Sarah (a woman who seemed to be saddled with the bad luck of losing seven previous husbands on each of her wedding nights), St. Raphael is also the patron saint of travellers (erm, does this include Spacetravellers, I wonder? :-), the blind, physicians and nurses.
St. Emily, mother of St. Basil the Great is specifically the patron saint of single women. After her kids (many of whom became saints) were grown, she founded a convent and lived like a single woman (that is, as a nun) for the rest of her life.

2. St. Isidore of Seville, patron saint of the internet
I never actually knew before that there was a patron saint of the internet!
But apparently there is a patron saint for just about anything :-)
Given that The Manosphere, the Gendersphere and internet dating are all facets of our current SMP, how appropriate is this saint!
St. Isidore was Archbishop of Seville, and was a prolific writer and academic.
He was made 'Doctor of The Church' by another Pope Benedict (Benedict XIV) in 1722.

3. St. Fiacre, patron saint of STDs
Well, I did say there was a patron saint for just about anything :-)
I am not sure how this saint, an Irish monk, got to be patron saint of this, nor how he also came to be the patron saint of gardeners and taxi-drivers.
*rubs chin*

Specifically, Saints Damien de Veuster and Lazarus of Dives are patron saints of HIV/AIDS.

4. St. Jonathan, patron saint of friendship
For those stuck in LJBF situations, I guess St. Jonathan is the 'go-to' guy :-)
St. Jonathan is of course no other than St. John the Apostle who was a steadfast friend to Our Lord and who was described often as 'the apostle Jesus loved'.

5. St. Agnes/Ines of Rome, patron saint of engaged couples
At 12 years old, Agnes had decided she was only going to marry God (religious hypergamy at its very best!!).
She was also very attractive and had to turn away many suitors, one of whom just wouldn't take no for an answer.
He (Sempronius) wanted Agnes to marry his son. When she refused, he tried every which way he could to get her killed, but it wasn't easy, because Roman law did not permit the execution of virgins. He even tried to get his son to rape Agnes, (so he could now claim she was no longer a virgin) but even that didn't work, because he was struck blind (and she prayed for him to have his sight restored).
Eventually, he did manage to get Agnes killed.
She is also patron saint of virgins, rape victims and Girl Scouts.

6. St. Maria Goretti, patron saint of chastity
Speaking of attempted rape victims, Maria Goretti was another 12-year old who had to fight for her life to preserve her dignity. She was unsuccessful in the sense that she lost her life. But she did not lose her dignity.
She is the patron saint of rape victims, teenage girls, poverty and forgiveness.
Speaking of forgiveness, St. Mary Magdalene is the patron saint of penitent women, with specific reference to how she literally threw herself at Jesus' feet when she asked him for forgiveness.

7. St. Dominic, patron saint of the falsely accused
This is one saint certain factions of The Manosphere would certainly relate to.
St. Dominic, also known as patron saint of Astronomers, was falsely accused of a boyhood prank and got punished for it. He knew who the real culprits were, but refused to 'rat' on them.
This is a patronage he shares somewhat with St. Gerard, who was falsely accused of being the father of a pregnant woman's baby. So, Justin Bieber is not alone then :)
St. Gerard is thus the patron saint of pregnancy and childbirth.
Like St. Dominic, he also refused to plead his innocence, but the woman later confessed to lying.

8. The patron saint of marriage???
Um...bizarrely enough, there appears to be no monopoly on this.
No-one, it seems, wants to own this one :-)
Kinda distressing actually (Hahaha!)
The contenders here are St. Joseph ('cos he was a great husband), St. Raphael (see above), St. Valentine (for obvious reasons) and St. John-Francis Regis, who was a priest, and is also the patron saint of social workers.
St. Edward the Confessor is the patron saint of difficult marriages.
So I guess at some point, every married couple is going to be needing him :-)

9. St. Rita of Cascia, patron saint of 'The Impossible'
I think St. Rita ought to be the patron saint of marriage. She endured a horrible marriage, which began when she was aged 12 (what is it about this age?) but through prayer she was able to turn her abusive husband and two sons to God.
She is also known as the patron saint of (infertile?) women wishing to have children.
St. Gianna Molla is also patron saint of the unborn, amongst other roles.
St. Jude is another patron saint who is known for helping out with 'hopeless causes', so breakups, unrequited love, bitter arguments, loss of attraction, betrayal and divorce are his specialty.

10. St. Joseph, patron saint of The Family
This should surprise no-one. As the head of the Holy Family, he is best placed to be the 'go-to' saint for family harmony.
I think St. Rita again qualifies, as does St. Monica, mother of St. Augustine.

We can't all be saints, but it sure is good to know that the saints all started out like us - ordinary people with ordinary lives and problems.
Helps put things in perspective.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Happy Syttende Mai!

To all my family and friends in the North, Happy May 17th!
Gratulerer med dagen!

As you prepare to enjoy another Nordic summer, let's hope you can put the atrocities of last summer behind you.

 Enjoy the day.
And wear your bunads :-)

And to the rest of us, Happy Ascension Day!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

What's in a name?

I have always been fascinated by names. First names interest me more, but I am also intrigued by surnames.
Etymology and onomastics are the hallmarks of my personal geekiness :-)

But perhaps there is good reason for my love of names. I have five first names.
And I gravitate towards cultures where people have multiple first names.

For example, I have a connection of sorts to Norway.
It is very unusual to meet a Norwegian who has only one first name.
Often the two or more first names are in use together at all times. The middle name is not 'in reserve' for inclusion in official documents only. Usually, the names are double-barrelled and both names are uttered each time that person is summoned.

I am known by different names by different people, naturally enough.
As such, at home I have a certain identity based on my 'home' name. At work, I have a different identity. In other situations, I have yet another one.
Quite the schizophrenic existence.
To add to this mix, my first first name is spelled and pronounced completely differently in other languages. A few people I know insist on calling me by my name in their language. I happen to like that language. And my name takes on a whole new level of sophistcation in that language. In a way that makes me swoon.
Is it me or is it getting hot in here? :-)

Occasionally I get tripped up.
I once happened upon someone at work who only knew me by my 'home' name because she only knew me when I was a small child and her family and mine were neighbours. I had a surreal almost 'out of body' experience being called by my 'home' name in an environment I did not expect this to happen in.
Weird, to say the least.

There are people who are especially careful about name-choosing for their offspring. I concur.
I am not even married (yet) but the names of all ten of my future kids have been carefully chosen :-)
OK, that last bit was a joke.
Or was it?

Speaking of baby names, I once mentioned on Bellita's blog that if I ever have a daughter, she is going to be called 'Eva'.
I am aware that name-choosing for a child is usually a shared job between two parties :-)
Or more even, if you count extended family :-)
But I might have to be restrained and my lips sealed with duct tape on this one if necessary. I find this name irrevocably enchanting.
And I have never heard of or known an Eva that I did not immediately like. I am not sure why I am so drawn to that name.

I don't really believe in 'name-ology', but people swear by it.
I do know of the importance of  a name, though. Articles like this only confirm what I have suspected for ages.

A name might just define your life. The mother of Martina Hingis the tennis player named Miss. Hingis after another well-known tennis player.
Anyone met Professor Kinder the paediatrician? I have.
I see that the sister of Steve Jobs married a guy whose surname was ...Appel :-)
Speaking of descriptive surnames, my own is very descriptive too. Like 'Smallwood' or 'Littlejohn', it is basically an adjective - an uncannily accurate one at that :-)

It is this with dismay that I regard parents who insist of calling their kids 'Jezebel', 'Her' (this is true - a Norwegian couple fought for the right to call their daughter 'Henne', meaning 'her'), the number 'four' - this gem was dreamed up by a New Zealand couple - thankfully they were overruled by the courts... and many more cringeworthy examples.

Moving on to couples, I noted in Pope Game that Pope Benedict's parents were called Joseph and Mary. It would appear that combination produced what you would expect - three holy kids (2 priests and a virtual nun!).

My next-door neighbours are a couple named Emmanuel and Emmanuelle :-)
I also know a Joseph and Josephine. Naturally, when their first son arrived, he was promptly named Joseph :-)

Poor old Lauren Bush, spare a thought for her. I am pretty sure she wasn't looking to acquire the name Lauren Lauren, but that's exactly what she got when she said 'yes' to Ralph Lauren's son.

And the poor girl whose parents thought it would be cool to call her 'Dia' when the family name was 'Rhea'.

There is a popular Swiss cheese/dish called 'raclette'. Given that it is a feminine noun, it is often referred to as 'la raclette'.
So...what to do if you are a Belgian couple called Monsieur et Madame Clette who have just had the stork deliver a female bundle of joy at your doorstep?
You call her Lara!
And forever and ever, this poor girl will be the butt of cheesy jokes at school, work, social gatherings and in the retirement home :-)

Parents: you can't choose 'em...
Just as well :-)

And what about the name switch that we ladies may or may not undergo?

I would have thought that one of the happy consequences of marriage is that a girl's name changes to that of her husband's. (Except of course if you are Lauren Bush, or Rose X about to marry Mr. Bush in which case this prospect may not be so thrilling.

But it turns out I am wrong on this.
It never astounds me how many women find it a bore or a chore to take up a man's name when there is no reason to feel awkward about the name.
Whilst I would never say to a woman, 'If you don't like his surname, don't marry the guy' (!) I can't help but wonder why the fuss.
Yes, the state does not help. I mentioned this briefly in 'Dissidents of the 'spheres'.
France is a particular offender in this regard.
It is such a painstakingly difficult process for a (professional) woman to change her maiden name to her husband's name that many simply give up. Or end up with the ridiculous situation where they have two surnames floating about and no-one knows which one is the new one versus the old one.

Some women are genuinely upset about the thwarting of this sacred symbolism. To take one's husband's name is a sign that one is part of his team afterall.
I don't think men appreciate how obsessed a woman can become about a man's surname.
But perhaps that's a good thing :-)
In the same way it is best for some women not to fully understand how men obsess about certain things (mentioning no names).

Others are more relaxed about it.
Others are nonplussed.
Others were never planning on changing their name in the first place.

I know that men (at least Red Pill ones) take this issue very seriously. That is one thing the Manosphere has equipped me with - the insight into how a man views marriage and its various symbolisms.
As a woman, I would never have guessed that not to take on a man's name when one marries him is to slap him in the face figuratively speaking.
I have just always felt it part of the whole 'romantic' thing (nevermind that it is the 'traditional' thing to do) to change one's surname on marriage. But I wasn't to know that not to do that would be viewed poorly by a man.

But I think I understand that sentiment now.

What I still cannot quite figure out is why some men take on their wife's surname. I know at least two men who have done this.
Works nicely for both of these couples. So who am I to make a fuss on their behalf?
But somehow, I have a feeling it wouldn't work for me.
My surname is interesting enough but it ain't that interesting.
If I ever get married, it's got to go.
(Sorry Dad).


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Will there ever be peace?

With respect to the current SMP, this has to be a rhetorical question!

The last post confirmed in my mind just how hurtful things can get between men and women.
Whether it is intended or not, people get hurt.

News agencies all over the world recently reported on the 20th anniversary of the Bosnian war.
The one that saw the end of the country formerly known as Yugoslavia and replaced by new countries (Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Slovenia and Croatia).

I knew a few Croatian people back then.
If you mentioned the word 'Serbia' to them, you could face a serious threat to your own life.

Goran Ivanisevic, throughout his Wimbledon career talked of his love for Croatia, never Yugoslavia. So when he won Wimbledon as a wild card in 2001, it seemed poetic justice that he should whip out the Croatian flag to celebrate his 10-year old country.
But even then, I am sure there were Serbians in the crowd who rejoiced for and with him.

One of my favorite pieces ever, comes from British composer Karl Jenkins and is called 'A Mass for Peace'.
Composed with the Bosnian war in mind, it is a masterpiece that had me gobsmacked the first time I heard it.
Here are some excerpts below (in no particular order - certainly not in the usual 'Order of Mass'!):

The Benedictus:

Better is Peace:

Agnus Dei:


I never heard a Mass which contained this, but this is kinda the point of this post.
And why Karl Jenkins' Mass for peace is so special to me.
The Muslim call to prayer (Adhaan):

In one of the 'sessions' the visionaries of Medjugorje had with Our Lady, one of them asked Her: 'Who is the holiest person in the village?'
Our Lady gave the name of a Muslim woman who lived in the village.
In a village full of Catholics (98%), the holiest person was a Muslim.
Get me a hijab, now.

And finally, my favourite, The Sanctus:
(I love the distinctly - and unusual - military feel to it).

Twenty years after Goran Ivanisevic burst onto the scene, it is now a Serb at the helm of tennis glory. And Novak Djokovic can now play a tennis match with Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia without fear.
In fact the two men hugged at the end of the match.
It was Ljubicic's last match before he retires.

Some wars can never be won. I know that.
Israel/Palestine comes to mind.
But most can be negotiated to a point that no more bloodshed is necessary.

When the battle-weary are nursing their wounds and the defunct bodies are being cleared off the battlefield, what then?
When the cost of war is being tallied up and the innocent bystanders are being coached back to normality, what then?

I have never been in an actual war of course.
But I know that a few readers here have.
This is in fact an appropriate occasion to welcome Dogsquat into the asylum that is Gendersphere blogland :-)
Welcome, but even more than that, happy to see you here!

The 'war' we all face is that with the opposite gender whether we are single, married, divorced or widowed.
In war, there are many casualties.
Intended and non-intended.
This post is dedicatd to all the wounded.
Intended and non-intended.

Can peace ever be achieved?
This of course requires civil behaviour from both parties.
With that achievement, the peace itself is but icing on the cake.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Weapon of Mass Destruction

I don't mean guns, nor nuclear energy.
Nor do I mean a woman's bosom.

I mean religion.


Religion as a weapon of mass destruction.

It may seem very odd to hear someone who describes herself as 'religious' to be talking about religion in this way.
Except, it shouldn't surprise at all.

Religion as a tool used for one's own selfish ends.
We have all seen examples of this.

Al Quaeda terrorists who use Islam for their own earthly pursuits.
Cult leaders who use their 'religious powers' to abuse vulnerable women.
Catholic priests who use the veil of The Church to abuse children...
The list is as long as my arm...

I have known people to turn away from religion for life, based on what a 'religious' person has done.
This is sad on one level.
But I shan't dwell on it.

I was going to write a post on the Church's contribution to the SMP.
But since I don't know enough about my own religion let alone any other religion, I shall brood some more over this topic until I have the required insight.

In the meantime, I have been busy thinking about something else.
If this helps, the original title of this post was to be: 'Religion: don't let it be used against you'.

I know many people who are fiercely suspicious of anyone who claims to be religious.
It comes with the territory of being Catholic :-)
For some reason, Catholics more than most, attract this kind of fierce suspicion.
I do understand it. And it doesn't in fact surprise me in the least.
I have been witness to the justification of the most heinous atrocities. All in the name of Catholicism.

I was thinking recently about the particular disdain The Manosphere has for so-called 'religious' women.
I never understood it before.
In fact I was baffled by it.

It seemed to me that on the one hand, these men were in contempt of the 'less than perfect' women (the promiscuous, the unfeminine, the uncouth). Not that anyone is perfect in this world...

On the other hand, they also seemed to be bashing the 'good girls'.
What was the problem?
What gives? I mused.
I couldn't understand it for the life of me!

Dalrock, in particular, is less than impressed with the religious women and their accompanying 'manginas' who are always asking men to 'man up'.
His latest post is but one in a long line of many that address his particular issues with religious, notably, Christian women.
My self-addressed question, as always, was, why?
Why was he so anti-religious women?
To my naïve mind, he was holding up such women to higher standards than were fair.
He was giving these women a heavier cross to carry than they were already bearing.
Not fair.
Or so I thought.

But I missed something else.
Something that came crashing down on my own head as I parted company with a woman who was previously in my 'herd', albeit only ever on the periphery.
But first, I shall describe what I think some men are seeing when they see a religious woman.
And why I think when women like me and Bellita cry NAWALT, it is simply a red rag to a bull.

Women as a group are more drawn to religion than men. This is perhaps a historical and a social given.
This is not the same as saying that women are more moral than men.
Far from it.
But I can see how this distinction can be 'fuzzed' to womens' advantage.
Clever women can do this very well.
And apparently they have.
The problem is, savvy men have caught onto this phenomenon.
And now, all women must pay for this 'sin' committed by said clever women.

Bellita once used the following phenomenon as an analogy for something else - I forget what.
But that 'something else' does not matter and is not relevant here.
What interests me where this post is concerned is what Bellita described, which is, people using 'confession' as a way of absolving themselves from the same sin over and over again.

Now, confession is both an enigma to and a source of ridicule by non-Catholics. I am used to this.
It doesn't bother me (anymore).

But precisely because I am Catholic, I get what Bellita is saying. Very well in fact.

Religious people can use the concept of 'forgiveness' and 'compassion' which are cornerstones of any religion, to their own personal advantage.
In particular, religious women can sometimes use this to corner men into doing their bidding, without requiring change or effort of themselves.
In other words, religion is being used as a tool for one's own gratification, without the other party being aware of it, because it is being disguised as religion, (even though it is anything but).
Problem is, even the most irreverent of people will respect another's religion.
Until said religion is used against them.
And at this point, all gloves are off.
And then the religion becomes the target, not necessaily the person behind said religion.
This has happened before.
Many times in human history.

This is religious disingenuity at its very worst.
And The Manosphere somehow have got wind of this type of thing where it concerns the SMP (I am not sure how) and are reacting rather badly to it.
I cannot honestly say I blame them.

And now that I too have gotten wind of it, I don't know what to make of it.
It sure smells bad. And I certainly wish I hadn't got wind of it.
But it's too late.
I see it clearly.

I don't know why I do, but I find that a person who might otherwise benefit from the comforts of a religion, if denied access to that religion because they have been turned off it by someone using said religion in a disingenuous way, has been done a great disservice.
Others might see this as a 'blessing in disguise', because they might see religion as a hindrance rather than a help any way.
But that only helps make my point.

There is no guarantee that had I not been born and raised Catholic, that Catholicism would ever have attracted me.
But at least Catholicism has enabled me to achieve a certain spirituality that may or may not have been achievable without it. If that makes sense.
So although I am saying that Catholicism may not have been necessary for me to progress in my personal and spiritual life, for me, it has been useful in some undefinable way.
Had I been turned off it at an impressionable age because of someone else, I would have viewed that as an unforgivable offence by that person.
Even though it (like most things in life) is just a tool, not the essence of spirituality per se.
So, to give an extreme example, if I heard tomorrow that my local Archbishop had fathered ten kids by ten different women, I would still choose to be Catholic.
But I would be offended on behalf of those who would be turned off Catholicism by this news.

I now know why some men go into churches to specifically seek out 'the bad girl'.
Because this girl is the supporting pillar of the local nightclub scene on a Saturday night and as such she is indistinguishable from non-Christian women under the cover of night.
But come Sunday morning, she is sitting in the front pew.
Looking like butter wouldn't melt.
And now she is indistinguishable from a true Christian girl.
And when she is challenged about her behaviour, she replies 'God forgives all'. And 'Man up! - I am made clean by God now'.

Not once. Not twice.
Over and over again.

And when I or Bellita says NAWALT, men everywhere are smirking or seething.
Because (they think) they know better.

And this same woman described above will challenge other women if she feels 'judged' by them.
Note I said 'feels' and not 'is'.
Where is your religion now? she will ask.
Why are you being so harsh with me?
Why can't you show some compassion like Jesus did?

When all you asked was, 'Don't you think he had a right to be upset with you when you cheated on him with his friend?' or something similar.
For to themselves, they are unjudgable. Because Jesus forgives all. Repeatedly.
And the rest of the world had better get used to it (their bad behaviour).

Men have their own sins. But I am yet to find a man who can pull off this brand of religious disingenuity.
Please correct me if I am wrong.

Now, if someone suggests Rush Limbaugh as an example of this, I shall say 'fair enough'.
But even this man, despicable as he may seem, is only pointing fingers at others, and not declaring himself to be the epitome of godliness.
In this sense, he is also a hypocrite of sorts, yes.
But not a self-proclaimed-holier-than-thou 'cheat'.
There is a subtle difference between 'you are less than holy' (Rush Limbaugh) and 'I want you to believe that I am holier than I really am' (subjects of this post).

I can't believe the depths to which my disappointment will sink.
Not least in my (now former) friend.
I have seen too many examples of religion being used in this way.
And it saddens me because now, even a sacred thing such as religion is being viewed with deep suspicion by pretty much half of the world's population.
And unforgivable.

I have learned to stay away from certain battles.
Because I have neither the desire nor the tenacity to win them.

It is enough to see things clearly.
Then I walk.
Or run.
Whichever is more effective.