Friday, March 18, 2005

EOTM: "Can't We All Just Get Along?" "Can't We Just Go Out On A Date?"

"The Feminists -v- The Marriage License Bureau of the State of New York...All the discriminatory practices against women are patterned and rationalized by this slavery-like practice. We can't destroy the inequities between men and women until we destroy marriage." -- From Sisterhood Is Powerful, Morgan (ed), 1970 p. 537.

USA Today, 3/3/99, citing the US Census Bureau, reported that the number of people currently married has fallen to an all-time low. While not specifying the age at which one is considered an "adult", the paper showed a graph comparing the various marital statuses in 1970 and 1998. Since 1970, the percentage of married adults has fallen from 68% to 56%. One might say that the feminists are well on their way to accomplishing their objective of destroying marriage.

Against the backdrop of the Great Impeachment Circus of 1998-99 with its revelations of the marital infidelities of the US president, and all the hypocritical moralistic posturing that went with it as moral paragon after moral paragon bit the dust after past maritial lapses came to light, no small amount of dialogue has been generated on the subject of marriage. One must wonder whether the institution of marriage is a robust enough vessel to contain all the bitterly conflicting expectations and demands placed on it. Face it, any company that put out a product that self-destructed over 50% of the time would not remain in business for long.

A phrase that began to be used repeatedly during the 13 month long nightmare of the Bill-and-Monica show was "culture war." Either our culture seems to be a war with itself, or we have two or more separate and distinct subcultures within the larger culture. This is certainly true on the topic of marriage. The website has a whole list of articles on women's view of marriage. One of these Marriage: Why are women leaving marriage in droves? goes into some depth about the expectations that "society" creates in the minds of both men and women regarding WOMEN'S role in marriage. I found the whole thing rather banal and cliche-ridden. Sadly, the author claimed to be a male:

Oh, my, my, my," says Society with a capital "S," while wringing its hands and shaking its head, "If we could just get those women back to the farm... If we could just get that genie back in the bottle..."

Is it true?

If we could just get these women back to the farm; if we could just get women to stay home again, would they be afraid to leave marriage because the kids might starve?

If we could just get those women under control again, reverse those child support laws, and go back to the old ways, would everything be better?

If we could just return to the "good ol' days" when men were men and women were women and everyone knew their place in marriage, would marriage work again?

Obviously, we do have two totally different cultures around here somewhere. I keep wondering where these alleged "independent" women hang out. Unlike the women represented in these articles, I have yet to actually meet one in person for whom marriage, and "true love", and "happily ever after" was not the ultimate goal. The myth of the "independent woman" is compellingly attractive, but so far I have yet to find a confirmed sighting of one. And "independence" is a very relative term. On one web site I ran across the statement by a woman that men were "nice to have around -- sometimes." So are Mariachi bands -- sometimes. Maybe these 3rd wave feminists have gotten over the spit-in-your-face independence of "A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle", but being regarded as a marginally useful household appliance seems hardly worth all the effort that goes into a relationship.

Then there's the grisly gauntlet of dating. And here is where I find the situation portrayed in the article cited above to be exactly reversed. All the women I've ever encountered in a "dating" context had been told a whole lot by "society" about what she "should" want and what I was like, and none of it rang true.

I've lost track of the number of times I've been in Bob's shoes. Progressively thoroughout the 80s and 90s "dating" seems to have become an endurance test to see just how much offensiveness and contempt a man will put up with from a woman and still come back for more. Particularly when juxtaposed against the claim that women are the "feelings experts" and the "relatitionship experts", or against any of the concepts of "love" or even affection prevalent in our culture, the actual behavior of women has become so bizarre that it almost defies explanation and understanding.

Despite the best efforts of the heterophobes and the lesbian separatists, men and women are still attracted to each other and women, at least, still seem to regard "THE Relationship" as a kind of holy grail. But somewhere along the line any notion of mutuality or reciprocity seems to have gotten lost in the fiction of historic male power and privilege. The old Victorian notions of female sexual disinterest and male sexual depravity recycled into the legal mechanisms of Sexual Harassment, Date and Marital Rape, and pornography-as-violence-against-all-women have further suppressed the expression of female sexuality and pathologized and criminalized male sexuality. And millions of women sit around and wonder why they can't get a date.

Hardly a day goes by that I don't see more evidence, another example, of how women have completely lost touch with any sense of men as human beings, and with any notion about what is or might be attractive to men. Apparently, many women believe that men thrive on abuse and that the more abrasive and unpleasant a woman can be toward a man the more he will "Love" her. Such thinking does not impress men with women's general level of intelligence. The female method of talking feelings and situations to death is in direct conflict with men's tendency to deal with things as simply as possible. Having to explain to a woman why the situation depicted in the above cartoon is so incredibly obnoxious, offensive, demeaning, and infuriating to men seems ridiculous to most men. How in the world ANYONE could expect someone to listen to this kind of crap and not begin to detest the person putting it out is simply incomprehensible. The only possible conclusion is that the woman is completely devoid of social graces, arrogant and contemptuous of men to a degree which is almost impossible to believe, cruel and sadistic in many respects, and none too bright.

Thousands of examples of this kind of immature, self-centered and narcissistic world view can be found on the web. For Valentine's Day 1999, posted an article entitled "Dating Myself: Remembering how to date again is not like riding a bike". After the obligatory modern-woman/single-mom assertion that she was perfectly happy being single and raising her daughter alone, the woman went on to describe her desire to "reinvigorate the date."

"About a year ago, someone I met at a dinner invited me out on a date." ...

"This is how it went: We met at a dinner and talked to each other and then we talked to other people. I thought he seemed nice and attractive though he did not inspire that breathless, pheromone-filled instant response. (Those are usually reserved for men I discover are either happily married or homosexual.) Three days later, he called, I answered, we chatted and he asked if I wanted to go out for dinner. Just like that. I even accepted and we were on for Thursday night. This is strategically a good night since it is not burdened by the significance of a weekend or an unencumbered next day, Thursday is a sincere night without being an officially romantic one. " ...

She then went on to describe her preparations for "the date" which included lying to her 6 y/o daughter about why she was dressing up and putting on makeup to spare her daughter the "complications" of "Introducing an insignificant man into the picture..."

"I kissed her goodbye and drove to my date. Let me say this again, my dinner date. At a fancy restaurant downtown. For one panicky moment I wondered if I would actually remember what this date of mine looked like. He had a mustache I think. I assume he will remember me."...

"We met at the bar. He recognized me which was a good thing because I only half recognized him. I wanted to feel the rush of flirtation inspired by chemistry, but only felt the rush of exhileration inspired by getting acquainted — less with him, as it turned out, than getting reacquainted with myself as a datable woman. "...


"Nothing much came of that date. We went out a few times. He even kissed me. He wanted things to move much quicker than I, not sexually which I can handle, but in terms of “life integration."...

"Many single mothers have no interest in a Big R relationship but would love to go on a date. Here are some rules for dating a single Mom:

1) Don’t push for meeting the kids.

2) Pay for the date.

3) Make the plan. One option, as with children, is to give a choice — would you like to go to Paris or would you like to see a movie? — and let me decide.

4) Single mothers are pathetically grateful for small gestures but since we are so constrained by the circumstances of our lives, you don’t have to worry that we will leap to conclusions and assume that a flower means a marriage proposal.

5) Offer to pay for the babysitter. Even though the offer will be refused, it is a lovely gesture.

6) Limit your own expectations about her availability — twice or three times a month is a big deal."

Again, from the male point of view it is unfathomable that this woman, or any woman, could be so self-centered and narcissistic that she would regard the entire purpose of a "date" as being "...getting reacquainted with herself as a datable woman." And women complain about men turning WOMEN into objects!!!! Do women REALLY have to have it explained to them that the ENTIRE REASON a man would ask them out on a "date" is because that man has the desire to become something MORE than an "insignificant man" in that womans life?!!!! If so, no wonder "relationships" are going down the tubes.

What is fascinating about this woman's account is the strange mixture of traditional expectations of gallantry, generousity, and take-charge attitude from a man ( pay, plan the date, offer to pay for the babysitter) combined with her new-age attitudes of liberation ( being perfectly satisfied with her life as a single mom, being able to "handle" sexual "intimacy" but NOT "life integration" ). Particularly offensive in light of women's constant harping on wage parity and supposed male obsession with money, is the suggestion in the plan-the-date "rule" that the type of man this woman would consider a "datable man" is one with the financial resources to be able to offer a trip to Paris with the same ease that most men could offer a movie.

This woman's attitude is a perfect example of a very significant and destructive disconnect between the way men view "dating" or "a date" and the way women view dating. Again, from the male point of view, it seems rather amazing to have to explain that any activity which meets the needs and expectations of only one of the participants while frustrating the needs and the expectations of the other is going to be regarded as a "bad deal" by the one whose needs are being treated with contempt and is going to raise some very realistic resentment and animosity.

Men generally regard "a date" as a mechanism for getting to know someone with whom they have more than a passing interest in developing more of a relationship. If the woman makes the fact known that she considers the male to be nothing more than "an insignificant man", most men have have no shortage of other things to spend their money on and will no doubt choose to do just that. So, from there very beginning, there is a sense that the woman is behaving in a fraudulent manner: she is taking advantage of the man on false pretenses. It is clear from this woman's description that she regards "a date" as an opportunity to dine on expensive meals, or take expensive trips, at someone else's expense. A very fundamental conflict in male/female relationships is that where women seem to see this as an entitlement which is nothing more than their just due, men see it quite differently.

The much lamented lack of available "dates" for women stems directly from this phenomenon. She herself wants to be treated as somehow significant, as a "datable woman" ( whatever that means ), yet at the same time does not see the need for this regard to be reciprocal. Of course, we all know what this perceived differential in the value of companionship is based upon: the unspoken, or nearly so, implicit possibility of sex.

Another great example is from a singles ad posted on the web by a woman from Georgia, USA.

Okay, so I went to the "tips on writing ads". That helped! I am a divorced 46 year old FEMALE, 5'4", 120lbs. (give or take 5lbs. [constantly]). I always thought that was what "The Battle of the Bulge" meant. I know you will want my measurements so I'll go where no woman has ever gone before and tell you. Just had them taken last week. 36-26-35. I was told that I was one inch from being perfect. The person who said this, you have to understand, did not know of my sharp tongue, at the time. I work for a Periodontist as an assistant. If I had but one wish in life, it would be for happiness. I am seeking to find someone out there who is honest to a fault, not too hard to look at, rather tall, great personality, loves to pamper women, opps, erase that, I meant, loves to pamper a woman, knows how to give and take, will understand that most women will, one way or the other, get in that last word, understands that sex is not everything (I realize that will exclude 90% of you guys), understands that sex is an important part of things, (what can I say, I'm a woman, you're not suppose to understand what that meant), likes to stay home and watch movies and cuddle, would rather walk in the rain than weed the garden, knows plenty of GOOD jokes, can listen as well as talk, have most of their own teeth, knows how to hold up there end of an intelligent conversation and has great come backs. I know, I sound like an awful person, but I'm really not. I'm a very giving and caring person. Sometimes to a fault. And I will end this application with one old saying. Which is "When I'm good, I'm good, but when I'm bad, I'm real good." Now, name that tune. ;->

Now first of all, let's look at the fact that a woman who places an ad in an INTERNATIONAL forum might be realistically classified as "desperate." However, like the narcissist only interested in dating herself described above, she feels the need to obscure this fact. Let's "deconstruct" this woman's ad and list the things that she is demanding of a potential relationship versus the things she is offering in return. Her "conditions" or "rules" are:

1. Her one wish in life is for "happiness" ( Wow! That makes her unique. Sure glad she told me that. Tells me a WHOLE lot about her.

2. Honesty to a fault. ( nothing wrong with that )

3. "...not too hard to look at, rather tall, great personality..." ( Wow! Another unique revelation. Since most women are looking for repulsive short trolls, she obviously won't have much competetion for those remaining tall, good looking men with great personalities.)

4. Loves to pamper women. No. Wait. ONE woman - her. ( Hey, this woman is getting more "special" and unique with every condition. Since so few women want to be pampered and instead would rather knock themselves out pampering a man, all those guys out there seriously suffering from lack of a woman to pamper will surely trample each other beating down this woman's door. )

5. Will just accept the fact that she is always going to have "...that last word."

6. Understands that sex is not everything. "( I realize that will exclude 90% of you guys. )" ( Can we say "men think with their penises"? )

7. Understands that sex is an important part of things. "(what can I say, I'm a woman, you're not suppose to understand what that meant)" ( Can we say "feminine mystique". )

8. "likes to stay home and watch movies and cuddle, would rather walk in the rain than weed the garden, knows plenty of GOOD jokes, can listen as well as talk, have most of their own teeth, knows how to hold up there end of an intelligent conversation and has great come backs." ( Can we say "yadda, yadda, yadda"? )

Ummm. Makes ME want to offer her the choice — between a trip to Paris or a movie — and let her decide. Some good samaritan needs to suggest to this woman that she retake her "tips on writing ads" course. Even she, herself, realizes how bad her ad sounds when she says "I know, I sound like an awful person, but I'm really not. " A poor dumb male, thinking only with his penis and not with "both sides of a female brain", would ask WHY, if she knows that her ad makes her sound like an "awful person" she went ahead and POSTED IT. However, all this proves is that men REALLY DON'T understand women at all.

Now let's look at the list of what she is offering in return for all these sterling male qualities:

1. divorced ( and likely bitter about it ) 46 year old ( high milage ) FEMALE, (why all capital letters? ) 5'4", 120lbs. (give or take 5lbs. [constantly]). I always thought that was what "The Battle of the Bulge" meant. ( Great, so hanging around with her will mean constantly having to field the question "Do you think I look fat?" ) I know you will want my measurements so I'll go where no woman has ever gone before and tell you. (Oh, you daring and mischievious devil, you. ) Just had them taken last week. 36-26-35. I was told that I was one inch from being perfect.
2. a sharp tongue ( can be vicious and emotionally abusive if "provoked" by the suggestion that anything about her is NOT "perfect")

3. contempt and dismissal of 90% of men because they like sex - A LOT (more than she does) .
4. demand for sex that meets HER needs, despite the fact that she has already made it clear that she has no intention of respecting or meeting the MAN'S needs or at least any of the 90% of men who place a different level of importance on sex than she does.

5. being a very "caring and giving person" ( Fooled me. )

6. being "very good" when she is being "bad". ( An obvious sexual innuendo promising much which the entire rest of her ad makes it clear that she has no intention to deliver, plus indication of a shame-based view that sex is "bad". )

If this is an example of a woman thinking with both sides of her brain, it's really scary to contemplate how stupid she might be if she wasn't using her capabilities to the fullest extent possible.

These two women are examples of the "rear guard" of the gender war. Each of them illustrates some of the paradoxes which now poison male-female relationships. What they have in common is that they are both seeking and want to exercise a uniquely female form of power: sexual power. The younger woman, the single mother, views having a man ask her out as confirmation of her sexual power as a "datable woman": i.e. one who can set the "rules", regard a man as insignificant, demand that he pay and do all the work involved in dating, and expect nothing in return except perhaps sex. I'm sure it would be impossible to get this woman to see how her attitude guarantees that the only type of man she will encounter will be of the "buy her dinner or a trip to Paris - get laid" mentality. Or how women like her reinforce all the most negative stereotypes which men hold of women.

Even more disturbing is the fact that this image is being promoted by very influential media- MSNBC.COM, the partnership between Microsoft and NBC - as the idealized "new woman." Her contention that "Many single mothers have no interest in a Big R relationship but would love to go on a date. " reinforces the old stereotypes of divorcees as somewhat "loose women" who will spread their legs for a man for the price of a meal. And she is very clear in warning off men who might want to integrate themselves into her life. The man who did her the great favor of reaffirming her sexual power to attract men and be able to demand money and gifts from them with the hint of possible sexual favors given in return may have been a much better candidate for the type of husband that women claim to want than the woman's ex-husband was. However, she reverses the situation shown in the cartoon above. While he wants to meet her kid and integrate himself into her life, she is looking for "...that breathless, pheromone-filled instant response..." and "... that rush of flirtation inspired by chemistry..."

One could very accurately say here that this woman is "thinking with her pussy" while the man is "thinking with both sides of his brain."

This would be tolerable and probably not even annoying in a world where the cartoon above did not exist. However, the negative stereotyping of males and the blaming of men for the choices of women are what has made this into a gender WAR. This woman would like to be treated with respect and regard for her feelings and circumstances, yet the notion of reciprocity seems beyond her ability to grasp. Again, from the male point of view it is impossible to understand why women cannot see how it would only take a very few encounters with women like this to convince a man that women generally view sexual and intimate relationships in the same way that a prosititute does: sex in exchange for money or gifts or trips to Paris. Then when he treats the next woman he encounters as these women literally demanded that he treat them, that woman gets hurt and offended.

The middle-aged divorcee presents an even more confusing mix of modern and traditional values. The only things she offers in her ad are related to her sexuality - her measurements, her contention that they are "almost" perfect, a picture of herself in an evening gown ( or lingerie ) showing an ample portion of cleavage, and the promise to be "very good" for the man who could entice ( bribe ) her to be "bad." She makes it clear that sex will be on her terms, not his; that she will ALWAYS expect to get her way ( the last word ); makes a veiled threat of verbal and emotional abuse ( sharp tongue ); and tries to belie the desperation which is obvious in her placing an ad in an international venue when only thousanths of a % of the potential readers are in her geographic vicinity. All in all, it is a very sad picture of a woman trying desperately to hold onto her sexual power and avoid having to face the realization that she has essentially none.

Thus is the face of womanhood of the 1990s and beyond which men must confront. And it's a picture which will turn the stomach of any decent man. More that any other gender related "gap" of the gender war, these women are the primary agents in creating what might be termed "the compassion gap." To use the phrase which has now become "fighting words" in any conversation about the relationships between the sexes, when it comes to their isolation and loneliness these women did indeed "ask for it."

The last time I found myself in Bob's situation, I didn't just regret not having gone bowling with the guys. I asked for the check, threw the money on the table, and walked out. Men indirectly give women permission to bash them, and keep on bashing them, by putting up with it. If an ad or article like the ones I've quoted above annoy me enough and there is a means of responding which doesn't cost me any money, I "deconstruct" what they've said and challenge them on it. I am one male who does NOT give women permission to keep on being unbearably obnoxious and offensive toward me either directly, or indirectly by bashing ALL men.

In many respects, I hold ALL women accountable for the excesses of feminism because, while they may not have actively participated, they have been quite content to ride along on the coattails of the feminist extremists while men were being beaten down with shame and guilt. The clear and direct benefit to women has been to make men even more pliable, apologetic, and willing to sacrifice their own wants and needs in order to "please" women. Bell Hooks nailed this phenomenon on the head.

"A lot of women want to use feminism as a means for success in their careers and power in public life, then when they go home, they want to re-enter the space of traditional femininity. The personal will always be political,"

Women have had a few golden years during which they have been able to have it both ways. They have been able to gain economic and political power without relinquishing one bit of their traditional sexual power in relationships. A fascinating example of this was reflected in the attitudes of recent female graduates from one of the eastern Ivy League colleges. While they expected to make as much money as any of their male classmates, they also expected to marry men who were both older and more successful than they were.

This is a perfect example of how the absolute untruths in feminist theory have set women up for some bitter disappointments. The absolute blind faith in the mystical power of men to generate income rests on the absolute denial of the way in which the entire culture was structured to provide income to men FOR THE PURPOSE OF SUPPORTING FAMILIES.

My college roomate provided the perfect example of this about 25 years ago. He went to work for a major insurance company as a computer programmer trainee. In those days all computer training was OJT - the experienced programmers did all the teaching. One day my roomie's trainer told him to send a message addressed to the trainer's console. What he had done was to render his console ineligible to receive any messages. My roomie, being a real smart ass and none-too-bright, sent a message regarding the sexual habits of the president of the company with dead bears. The message showed up on the main operator's console as an error msg. When my roomie went to work the next day, first thing he was called into his supervisor's office. There was a stack of printouts on the guy's desk with line after line of roomie's smart-assed mistake.

His boss told him: "IF you had a wife and children to support, we would give you another chance. But you don't, so hit the road."

Before this whole social transformation took place, it was clearly understood in all segments of society that men were responsible for protecting and providing for women and children. Some percentage of a man's wages was therefor dependent to the degree to which he was living up to this responsibility. What the wage-parity hysterics will scream down immediately is any attempt to compare the wages of NEVER-MARRIED men and women. Even as long ago as the 1950s, never-married career women made as much or more than their male counterparts. It was also a well known fact that married men made more than single men. This was in the days when most businesses considered themselves part of the community and that they also bore some responsibility for community stability.

ALL this has changed in the past quarter century.

As the "men's movement" has stumbled around in the dark seeking a voice, it has done so in the complete shadow of feminism. Caught off-guard by the unexpected vehemence of the man-hatred which has always been an integral part of feminism, but from which many women who call themselves "feminists" are seeking to distance themselves today by adding qualifiers like "equity feminism" or "gender feminism", men have waivered between the "not guilty" and "mea culpa" positions. The rising tide of anti-male sentiment, man-bashing, and culture-wide character assassination of men has kept men off balance for the past 35 years.

Finally there does seem to be a rising backlash against feminist extremism. Not the kind depicted in the paranoid rantings about delusions of persecution contained in Susan Faludi's "Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women", but a more directed and fact-based examination of the disastrous consequences to society of allowing a bunch of spoiled little would-be princesses run loose unchecked in their demands.

The results of the denial of female sexual power and the biological underpinnings of it are beginning to come home to roost. As this first generation of this "second wave" of feminism reaches the mid-point of its life-cycle, women like the middle-aged divorcee above are having to confront the fact that they have no real sexual power any more. Men who have achieved the financial success and have all those desirable personality attributes which she demands are becoming fully aware that they are just as desirable to 25 y/o women as they are to 45 y/o women, and that the 25 y/o women are a lot more attractive to THEM.

By destroying the essential foundation of courtesy and respect formerly part of "dating" relationships, women have invited men to treat them with the same contempt that women have been showing to men for the past 3 decades. Men like R. Don Steele, author of "Steel Balls", are promoting an approach to women which is equally ruthless and exploitive to the one which women have been pursuing toward men since the late 1960s. Men like myself, who have fought long and hard against the exploitation and counter-exploitation cycle which has created the gender war, are beginning to say "You GO, guy." to such men.

To those bleeding hearts who say "Yes, but two wrongs don't make a right", I simply point to every woman who justifies her man-hatred of today by pointing to historic "oppression" of women. As I learned from dealing with alcoholics and their families, those who tolerate sick and intolerable behavior are, to that extent, responsible for it. Men's tolerance and willingness to not "fight back" have not so far resulted in lessening the attacks on men one bit.

The failures of feminism are far less due to the inability of the feminists to convince men to change their behaviors than to the fact that WOMEN have not changed theirs. The gender war is therefor an indirect attack on women by attacking men for the very things that most women still want. The more that men's ability and willingness to give women what the majority of women still want is destroyed, the more frustrated and willing to attack men those women become. Thus, men are under attack from both sides.

Thus, the sexes are trapped in the paradox created by the fact that men have traditionally done women's dirty work for them. The people most harmed by the runaway abuse of Sexual Harassment law, expanded rape definititions, and the finding of Domestic Violence and abuse in every unkind word or gesture or even in coming home late to dinner, are not the men sitting in prison, but the women who men are beginning to avoid: women who might like to see themselves as "datable women", or middle-aged divorcees desperate to hide their desperation.

Attempts to shame men over their loss of sexual interest, play on their insecurities, and Viagra prescriptions aside, men who have successfully cast off the old macho male stereotypes, as women have been demanding that we do, are discovering some major unexpected benefits. Now we are free of having to put up with offensive and obnoxious women simply because they hold sexual power over us. They don't anymore.

Women who have completely bought into the fictional notion of men's insatiable sexual appetites, and the denial of any role that women play in the sexual dance made necessary by wiping the notion of "she asked for it" out of the cultural knowledge bank, are finding that they have forgotten HOW to "ask for it" and as a result aren't getting any of "it." There has even been a clinical term coined for it - ISD, Inhibited Sexual Desire. As male sexuality has been criminalized, and hatred of sexuality become ever more of a cultural institution, the hard work necessary to maintain a level of libido has become increasingly unworth the effort.

The net effect for women has been two-fold. As long as they continue to rely entirely and exclusively on the passive strategy of attraction and abuse the sexual power they have, they are automatically sorting out all but the most aggressive males. Thus their attitudes become self-fulfilling prophesies as they make themselves so obnoxious that any man who is capable of sensitivity and warmth cannot stand to be around them. Thus, in order to attract men AT ALL, even the most aggressive ones, they have to resort to more and more extreme measures of emphasizing and calling attention to their sexual attributes. The real "Beauty Myth", just like all other feminist myths which absolutely refute any role that women take with their own decisions in shaping the outcomes of their lives, is that ANY of these standards are imposed from the OUTSIDE, by PATRIARCHY or by the culture as a whole. The truth is that they are the primary methods which WOMEN USE TO COMPETE for that commodity so desired by women - MALE ATTENTION.

By the absolute denial of sexual power which the feminists have demanded, and by denigration of this power by worshipping men's traditional economic and political power and elevating it over sexual power and literally forcing women out of the homes to seek it, feminists have stripped women of their traditional power base. The society which would have given my old college roomie another chance if he had "a wife and family to support" no longer exists. Women's choices to stay at home and raise their children have been essentially destroyed. And women are now saddled with BOTH sets of traditional role expectations, they do indeed have to be both beautiful AND successful in careers or business because FEMINISM HAS "OPPRESSED THEM" into HAVING to "have it all" before FEMINISM GIVES THEM PERMISSION TO BE HAPPY.

About all I can do is look on these poor fools who have fallen for this hoax with a mixture of bemusement and contempt. My pity has all been used up because these people have aggressively and viciously pursued these ends. They are NOT helpless VICTIMS, but the active agents and authors of their own unhappiness.