Monday, January 14, 2002

Zenpriest #14 - If a Man Speaks in the Forest, and There is No Woman There to Correct Him, Is He Still Wrong?

Quote: "Thank you for the compliment-just one thing-if I said anything like this to my female friends they would get offended, and wouldn't want to BE my friends anymore. It's been my experience that women don't mind if you speak unfavorably about men in general-but you can't do the same thing if the topic is women-they're very touchy. I think though that it's pretty clear that the men here that are severely disappointed with women aren't just sexually frustrated, though, because that's something that's easily remedied by other means-that part in the Bible that calls woman man's "helpmeet" is accurate, I think-man is the main actor, and woman is the assistant-the best name for it is "consort". Being the consort of someone I consider a very fine man gives me great satisfaction."

You remind me a bit of my sister, whom I idealize because she has so much sense.

Yes, women certainly don't mind blasting men all to hell, but let a man (and perhaps even a woman, as you indicate) say one tiny critical thing about any woman, and every woman within earshot will pulverize him in defense of womanhood in general.

You are also one of the first women I've ever heard "get it" when it comes to what men really want and need from women. I absolutely hate the stereotype of men as unrestrainedly horny beasts in a perpetual state of rut. It bites us both ways. First, any sexual accusation toward us is automatically believed. And, second, a whole lot of women have totally lost track of the connection between their part of the mating dance and men's response. Thus we get women playing turn-on games with no intention whatsoever of following through - so that they can play the victim - at the same time we have women who really do deal with us as though we were flesh and blood vibrators who should "turn on" just because they show up and want us turned on.

I still have a lot of the egalitarian idealism in me, and I have no particular desire to be "head" and would be perfectly happy with a fair and equal relationship - if such a thing were possible. One difficulty is that someone does to have the tie-breaking vote in cases of sincere disagreement.

However the larger and more poisonous issue is wonderfully illustrated by the joke: "If a man speaks in the forest, and there is no woman there to correct him, is he still wrong?"

What I have noticed among women since my college days is that they are so paranoid about being "dominated" that they react with an obsessive-compulsive need to argue with every word which comes out of a man's mouth. It is totally tiresome and completely destructive because it destroys any real communication or cooperation, and turns dealing with women into an exhausting ordeal.

The result of this is that all the emotional needs that men used to get met through sex - the intimacy and connection - no longer get met in any way. Sex has become very mechanical and impersonal, and sex toys and vibrators have really urged that along. Sex a lot of the time turns out to feel mostly like masturbation with an accomplice, who turns out to be someone you really don't like all that much.

The convergence of the problems you pointed out - the fact that women don't seem to start to get things figured out until about age 35, coincides quite tragically with the time that male ardor begins to significantly cool. Under the old structure of marriage, a couple would have had about 15 years by then to become friends and partners, and that would begin to pay dividends as they matured.

Under the new timetable of "career first, then children, husband optional" by the time a man has had 15-20 years of complete female self absorption, he has grown some very thick calluses over those emotional parts of himself where bonding takes place.

Women don't seem to have a clue about the way that all the clobbering they do of men fundamentally changes men's ability to feel about them in certain ways. Those changes are not reversible - as I've said many times, you cannot change a pickle back into a cucumber. The innocent crushes which young men have on women which can mature into deep long-term caring love, make men terribly vulnerable to women's ability to use men's feelings to manipulate them. Men have to protect themselves, so they become jaded and cynical and lose the ability to experience those feelings. Often, by the mid-30s which has become the target age for marriage, men have simply been jerked around enough by women that living alone looks like the better option.

Feminism really has left a horrible legacy for young women. Sadly, most of them are so brainwashed that when you try to tell them to lose the attitude, all it does is cause them to intensify it.


"Men like to please women and gain their approval, so they give their power away. Men are incredibly afraid of women; they have tremendous fear of women if they feel that the woman is going to criticize them. Frequently when he expresses himself, she says, 'Oh, don't be so ridiculous; I can't believe you're saying that!' or 'Why don't you ever talk about your feelings?' Then when the guy talks about his feelings, she'll often say, 'That's stupid!' or 'You can't really feel that way!' So the way he sees it is never right. And so the guy shuts down, and he refuses to talk. That's what I see in my practice over and over. The guy wonders, 'Why should I open my mouth, when every time I do, she tells me it's wrong?'" -- therapist Laurie Ingraham, in Good Will Towards Men by Jack Kammer

The Lamentations of Matheolus: Dominating Clock, 1295

This female clock is really driving me mad, for her quarrelsome din doesn't stop for a moment. The tongue of a quarrelsome woman never tires of chiming in. She even drowns out the sound of the church bell. A nagging wife couldn't care less whether her words are wise or foolish, provided that the sound of her own voice can be heard. She simply pursues her own ends; there's not a grain of sense in what she says; in fact she finds it impossible to have a decent thought. She doesn't want her husband to be the boss and finds fault with everything he does. Rightly or wrongly, the husband has no choice: he has to put up with the situation and keep his mouth shut if he wants to remain in one piece. No man, however self disciplined or clear-sighted he may be, can protect himself adequately against this. A husband has to like what the wife likes, and disapprove of what she hates and criticize what she criticizes so that her opinions appear to be right. So anyone who wishes to immolate himself on the altar of marriage will have a lot to put up with. Fifteen times, both day and night, he will suffer without respite and he will be sorely tormented. Indeed, I believe that this torture is worse than the torments of hell, with its chains, fire, and iron.


Further Reading:

Bonecrker #3 – Shaming Language


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