By J. DeVoy
I have no issue with feminists. In this classic case of taking it too far, however, certain women have descended upon bloggers I frequently read and link to here — Ferdinand Bardamu and Roissy — and are harassing them for promoting “anti-woman” views. This is correlated with Roissy’s (brief, thankfully) cessation of writing and closely timed with Bardamu taking a step back from daily blogging. Hopefully it isn’t causative, though it seems unrelated to Bardamu’s slowdown. Worse, this probably isn’t the first time something in this vein has happened, but I’m noticing it only because it affects blogs I liked.
This attack seems to have two prongs. First, a jilted commenter from Roissy’s blog has started a campaign to out him; the efficacy of these efforts is unknown. Because outing anonymous or psuedononymous people is uncool, these materials won’t be directly linked to here, but intrepid readers can easily find them from other web sites referenced in this piece. Second, and with greater reach, Denise A. Romano, M.A., Ed.M., has been harassing other bloggers with the old vanguard of illogical attacks, shame. I will not be half surprised if she finds her way to this blog’s comment section, though I hope she does not. I question whether other Ed.M. holders who read this blog share Romano’s views and appreciate her methods, but I digress.
At the heart of this debate is “game,” the attraction-building strategy I previously discussed and predicted would be subject to attempted suppression because it’s not politically correct. Game comes in two broad varieties, namely for men and for women. At its core, it’s based on evolutionary psychology principles that allow its user to present himself or herself in the most desirable possible light. It will not, however, change the substance of the user.
Romano and other activists contend that game is a misrepresentation that harms women. First, how does this harm women? Sociopaths who use these techniques aren’t hurting women because of game – they’re hurting women because they’re sociopaths. Game is a tool like a hammer, or a screwdriver, or an alligator, and can be used for good or evil. Second, game itself doesn’t entail misrepresentation. I doubt Romano would criticize a woman for trying to make her partner feel like a priority to her and attempting to cook well for him as a relationship-seeking strategy, despite the fact that she may be busy or indisposed to cooking. A man shouldn’t be penalized for employing strategies with proven effectiveness to make himself more desirable to women so long as he’s not expressly lying about material facts such as his marital status, any STDs he many have, or so on. Romano’s argument essentially considers all styles of personal presentation a lie, which is beyond asinine.
The second layer of this action, beyond protesting game itself, is the punishment of people who provide information about it. This should be a realm of intense interest for lawyers, law students and anyone else in a demanding field that consumes all of their time and attention, sucking the marrow out of your personality. Success in life and particularly with women boils down to being cool and interesting. Generally speaking, lawyers and law students are not cool and certainly not interesting. As engrossing as we may think it is to debate the scope of the commerce clause and toothlessness of Fed. R. Civ. P. 11, NOBODY CARES. It’s not a personal failing or defect — just life.
Since at least the sexual revolution, men have pondered why women “only like jerks and assholes”; most recently, the term “douchebag” has been reflexively attached to men who do better than average with women. My friends in similar educational and life situations have made identical observations, as women acquaintances who were college graduates would furiously rationalize their decisions to date lesser men. “Lesser” isn’t some petty and idiosyncratic distinction of attending a crapp(y/ier) school, having bad grades or being poorly traveled, but entails clear demarcators of failure such as having children he didn’t support, a criminal record with at least one felony conviction, repeated and flagrant infidelity, and even physical abuse. From there, two groups emerged within my acquaintances: Those who chose to do something about it, and bitter losers who thought they would win in the end if they never changed and attributed their failings to the fecklessness of women.
Among the former camp, Roissy was a must-read, as he almost specifically reached out to too-driven educated people who spent all their time in high school, college and beyond racking up resume lines without learning how to date, navigate the sexual marketplace, and get out of their own heads. Truly, the advice there was instructive for people who thought their accomplishments in life would be sufficient to find a desirable and loyal companion, rather than part of a package of factors — sometimes a troublingly small one. Learning how to use attraction-building techniques while capitalizing on the prestige of a decent education and upward social mobility it demonstrates — or demonstrated, considering the current economy — gave options to men who previously found relationships of varying enjoyability through personal acquaintances and serendipity. These skills were also used without falling into the stereotypical category of effete, medallion-wearing “pickup artists” mocked in the media. Anecdotally, these techniques are even more effective on intelligent women who have the intellectual horsepower to revel in harmless teasing and the challenge of a man who doesn’t reflexively accede to their demands. Indeed, a woman’s receptiveness to these tactics may be a good proxy for intelligence, making this skill even more important upon leaving the bubble of higher education.
To the extent maintaining civilization is a common concern, this kind of information should be disseminated more freely to men; indeed it should be mandatory at good universities so that our most promising minds aren’t given the run-around by women looking for more than a handout. Granted, this isn’t representative of all women, but women with options, like men with options, explore them; there are far fewer women with no options than men in that situation. The engineers, accountants, actuaries, dentists and lawyers this country relies on have no reason to settle for the opposite gender’s table scraps, but many don’t know how to do better. Now they’re being attacked on both fronts, branded as liars and misogynists for using effective techniques to meet desirable women, while the purveyors of such information are subject to life-ruining character assassination attempts by angry strangers.
Admittedly, this is a lot of information and its consequences seem trivial. Blogs shutter and people stop writing all the time, often for personal reasons. The issue is that only a small memorial will result, with no conclusive action taken. I don’t know what that decisive action would entail, though, beyond educating men about the inherent gender biases in law, especially the family court system, and the importance of resisting intimidation. I once had faith in the lofty rhetoric of Martin Luther King Jr., plagiarism aside, that the arc of the universe would right these wrongs and bring justice to all. With age I’ve realized that’s crap. All too often the individual right to be heard is determined by those with the most popular support. To their credit, men who care about their gender and its fate have been marshaling evidence and intellectual firepower to support their views on the issues facing them. Unfortunately, it may be time for them simply to scream louder.